ONE of the first things pointed out when the NRL released the draw for the 2017 season was the host of prime time games for the Broncos.
It’s become an on-going trend around the league that the men from Brisbane seem to receive more favours than most from the NRL, and the bottom line is simple – they’ve earned it.
Not the players, not the coach, but the fans.
They’re the reason they get to watch their side almost every Thursday or Friday night.
This is their reward for the unwavering support they provide their team week-in, week-out. Be it turning up in their tens of thousands at Suncorp Stadium or tuning in to watch on TV, they are easily the best supported team in the country.
People can argue that they have the advantage of being the only team in the city and thus garnering more numbers than any Sydney team possibly could, but regardless of how big their pool of fans is in comparison to other clubs the fact remains that Broncos’ fans make sure their team is unequivocally supported.
There were times last season where away teams were better supported than the home team at certain grounds across NSW – the Sharks having more fans turn up on a wet and windy Monday night to play the Rabbitohs at the Sydney Football Stadium springs to mind.
It sounds petty but these things add up when it comes to scheduling. The NRL and its broadcast partners want to attract the biggest possible audience each and every week and to do so they need their prime time games to involve both the biggest attendance and viewership.
The Broncos tick both those boxes. It’s why broadcasters choose to air their games and in turn why their games land on Thursday and Friday nights.
So rather than sit and complain about the apparent favouritism that goes their way every year it’s time we as fans start offering the same level of support for our clubs in the way the fans up north provide for theirs.
Make your local ground a cauldron for opposing teams and watch the domino affect it has on everything else as a result.
A packed stadium creates a buzz around your team. That buzz generates interest from broadcasters who want to cash in on the numbers. Those numbers lead to scheduling preference when it comes to creating the season draw.
So while it’s hard to deny the Broncos get the better rub of the green than most, it’s fair to say their fans have earned it.
It’s not necessarily fair but then not much is fair when it comes to business.