Broadcasters have been caught using old vision of NRL crowds in order to to make attendances look bigger as the crowd crisis worsens in Sydney.
The average Sydney NRL crowd this year has been just over 13,000, its lowest in years, with the Thursday night game largely to blame, averaging under 10,000 people.
Attendances for the Friday six pm time slot are only marginally better.
Two weeks ago the crowd crisis was at its worst during the traditional Rabbitohs v Dragons clash at the SCG, the turnout was embarrassing for the six pm clash.
Old vision of crowds used during a Rabbitohs game. Pic: 7 News
Those who did attend said the stadium was completely void of any atmosphere.
Due to horrible crowds such as this one, broadcasters have been sprung using old video of crowds in order to make attendances look bigger.
With ratings king, clubs and the NRL seem to be happy to sacrifice crowds for TV ratings.
Some radical solutions are now being considered by clubs, including allowing members free access to away games.
Fans responded passionately to the NRL crowds report by Josh Massoud on social media.
thursday night games and the early friday games are just silly....when will the NRL get that through their heads...— Amber.K. (@AmberX994874) August 18, 2017
This might be a shocking idea, how about play games at local stadiums that are built for the expected crowd turnout to improve atmosphere?— West Sydney Football (@WestSydney) August 18, 2017
Base line is, the games live appeal doesn't match that of TV. To fix it means to alter the sport, as tough as it may be.— Daniel Mercer (@Sir_Merc) August 18, 2017
Watch the full report in the video above.
The NRL season got off to the worst possible start with crowds in 2017, with its worst opening-round attendance averages since the Super League war.
Just 100,975 people walked through the gates in round one's eight matches, at an average of 12,622.
Another empty NRL crowd in 2017. Pic: Fox Sports
The figure is well down on the 14,644 average attendance across each of last year's opening-round matches, and the lowest since 1996, when only 30,198 watched the four games that weekend.
On that occasion, six matches were forfeited as the Super League war threatened to tear the game apart.