Figures released today show that Aviva Premiership Rugby is booming as 2017 kicks off, with confirmation of significant rises in both attendances and live TV audiences.
Compared to last season Aviva Premiership Rugby has seen crowds leap by an impressive 10% with more than 995,000 fans watching the competition already in this campaign. And the good news continues away from the pitch as live TV audiences - on BT Sport - have grown by 13% compared to the same time last season.
• Aviva Premiership Rugby attendances are up 10.1% this season;
• The average Aviva Premiership Rugby attendance is now 13,833;
• 995,976 fans have attended Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this season which means the one millionth fan will attend Newcastle Falcons v Bath Rugby on Friday night;
• 156,534 people attended Aviva Premiership Rugby matches in Round 11, the second biggest attendance ever in one round;
• The nine Big Games hosted by Harlequins at Twickenham have been watched by a staggering 670,040 people with more than 77,000 at Twickenham at the end of December;
• Average Live TV match audiences on BT Sport are up 13% up on last season and 5% up on our highest ever season (2014-15);
• 4.41 million have watched live Aviva Premiership Rugby this season on BT Sport;
These rises come at a time when Aviva Premiership Rugby is available in more countries around the world than ever before in its history. In total the live coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby is now available in 200 markets, reaching more than 175 million households around the world.
Recent new ground-breaking broadcast contracts mean Aviva Premiership Rugby is not only live on BT Sport, but on a number of other renowned TV channels including NBC in America, Fox Sports in Australia, SFR in France, OSN in the Middle East and ESPN in Latin America.
"It's great to start 2017 with such good news," said Mark McCafferty, the Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby.
"The 10% increase in Aviva Premiership Rugby attendances and 13% increase in live TV audiences shows that Premiership Rugby's appeal continues to grow.
"The growth has come on the back of a huge amount of hard work not only at Premiership Rugby but at our 12 clubs and these rises are a testament to them."