SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Broncos supporters celebrate a try during the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium on September 8, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

AFL fans are usually bragging about the fact their club is the best in the league, and their fans are the most loyal and supportive, but what do the statistics say?

Digital Sports Labs, an Australian website dealing with sports, business and technology, has crunched the numbers, looking at each NRL club’s social media following to determine which club is, in fact, the most followed across the country.

They looked at each side’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers as well as the club’s YouTube subscribers, and some of the results are a little interesting.

No surprises that the Brisbane Broncos come out on top of the list, with a combined following of 953,853 across their social media accounts which dwarfs the rest of the competition.

The second and third teams though will surprise many, with the Melbourne Storm (732,135) and New Zealand Warriors (726,004) well clear of their NSW counterparts.

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The South Sydney Rabbitohs (658,996) are the highest ranked Sydney-based team coming in fifth place, with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (472,767) and Parramatta Eels (472,040) neck and neck in seventh and eighth place.

Most Brisbane fans will take this as another feather in their cap in the battle of the cities but it should be considered there are actually nine clubs based in Sydney and their combined total is over 3.5 million fans.

At the other end of the table, the Canberra Raiders have the lowest combined following of only 250,421.

The Newcastle Knights (251,956) have the second lowest following but taking into account their population, it could be considered they are actually doing quite well.

NRL club social media following

# Club Total Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube
1 Brisbane Broncos 953,853 649,974 129,513 174,203 163
2 Melbourne Storm 732,135 488,082 118,402 125,651
3 New Zealand Warriors 726,004 474,093 99,177 149,393 3,341
4 South Sydney Rabbitohs 658,996 427,741 98,893 132,362
5 North Queensland Cowboys 485,808 286,277 73,886 125,645
6 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 472,767 284,665 89,174 98,928
7 Parramatta Eels 472,040 320,528 59,291 92,221
8 Wests Tigers 408,234 261,090 79,007 68,137
9 Sydney Roosters 383,340 220,455 66,521 94,888 1,476
10 Gold Coast Titans 310,346 194,764 61,492 53,595 495
11 Manly Sea Eagles 307,754 186,913 60,650 59,125 1,066
12 Cronulla Sharks 303,039 165,914 62,995 74,130
13 St George Illawarra Dragons 295,822 172,572 57,586 65,664
14 Penrith Panthers 258,600 147,297 54,105 56,752 446
15 Newcastle Knights 251,956 151,138 53,266 47,552
16 Canberra Raiders 250,421 149,890 49,868 50,663
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Social media following by state/country

State/Country Total
NSW 3,812,548
QLD 1,750,007
VIC 732,135
New Zealand 726,004
ACT 250,421

Social media following by major city

City Total Population %
Sydney 3,560,592 5,029,768 70.79%
Brisbane 953,853 2,360,241 40.41%
Melbourne 732,135 4,725,316 15.49%
Gold Coast 310,346 638,090 48.64%
Newcastle 251,956 322,278 78.18%
Canberra 250,421 403,468 62.07%

35 COMMENTS

  1. The Broncos have the support of a WHOLE STATE behind them. Likewise Melbourne are the ONLY team in Victoria and the Warriors represent the hopes of an entire nation an loyal ex-pats. Compare that to the 9 Sydney clubs who have to divide the one pie (NSW) between them.

    Given this rationale clearly the Rabbitohs have the best following of teams not favoured by an unfair advantage territorially speaking. At the very least Rabbitohs fans have proven that they are more tech savy than any other rival supporters of Sydney based clubs including “the HAVEs” of tge eastern suburbs and northern beaches.

    And we Rabbits know how to breed so expect those numbers to quadruple before long! 😉

    🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇

      • Never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn tommy, you know that. You also no doubt realise that the Broncos have more supporters than the Cowboys and Titans combined, times two!

        “in a state with half the population”

        And half the IQ! Bahahahahahahahahahaha

        OK, that was too much, I know, I know. Sorry tommy. I’ll take that back but I get to say BLEACH at least once! 😉

      • @ tommy

        tommyknocker January 28, 2018 at 8:22 pm
        “Mod rules only apply to under 12s. …In fact they should bring back age/weight restrictions during this period as well.”

        Absolutely! This should be in place up to U15’s. Following this the other kids start to catch up. When I played there was a kid twice our size that used to run like a Rhinoceros and leave kids lying in his wake. By the time we have turned 16 yrs/17 yrs we were half a head taller than him and more solid and we were lining up to use him as a piñata!

        • By the time we had turned… I think quicker than I can type tommy, and I type quicker than I can spell! Bahahahahahahahahaha

      • Yeah, but if you dig a little SSTID, I think the breakdown for the Bunnies was:

        SSTID_1970: 658,995
        Others: 1

        Maybe a slight exaggeration, just maybe.

        • Very funny mighty. I’ll pay that. I do what I can for the cause mighty, I do what I can. Anyway, it’s THIS Bunny’s gift to take a small truth and multiply it! LOL

  2. Its great to see the stats favour NSW league fans, also the big stat that I love is that Roosters have 1476 items to view on YouTube thanks to their 110 season history.

    The reason the Brisbane fans have the most comments is because they are always trying to defend their so called master coach. He wont last the season this year.

    • You forget WoodChook the Rabbitohs also have a 110 season history, unfortunately, thanks to Uncle Nick’s book of dirty tricks a “proposed” merger between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs that would have seen Souths consigned to oblivion left Souths broke and friendless and forced into a 2 year period of exile. Souths joined the competition BEFORE the Roosters and you know it. Souths are the OLDEST foundation club in the NRL irrespective of time spent in exile based on their registration and foundation.

      Rabbitohs Founded: 17 January 1908; 110 years ago
      Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club (no longer in existence) Founded: 24 January 1908
      Sydney City Roosters Founded: 1995
      Sydney Roosters Founded: 2000

      Fact WoodChook the South Sydney Rabbitohs have been unchanged since their inception. They have not had the need to break with their past and reinvent themselves for the sake of political expediency and for cynical advantage.

      We are happy to SHARE that mantle WoodChook, Rabbits know how to share while Roosters just like to crow and try everyone’s patience.

      I’ll pay your second paragraph though. Nicely done and yes, if the Broncos disappoint this year Wayne will get his bronze statue out the front of Suncorp stadium and a “golden handshake” to send him on his way.

      • In fact the mighty Newtown Rugby League club is the oldest foundation club still in existence 8th Jan 1908.

        • True. But NOT in the NRL. I am happy for the Jets fans to claim the title of the oldest club still in existence. It is the LEAST that the NRL can do for them. Hang on… then WoodChook will claim the title by virtue of the Jets being a feeder club for the Roosters. I’m on to you Foghorn Leghorn! Bring back the Bears! AND the Jets! 😉

      • Sorry SSTID-1970 The Tri colour Roosters are the oldest due to the fact they have played in every comp and the only team to do that since 1908. They have never merged with any other team. As for a name change that does not change their identity. They, like people who want to change their name on the birth certificate cant change the person or in this case the Roosters Club. They still have the similar boundaries as was in 1908 and the same colours. However as South Sydney 1908-1999 was booted out of existence in 2000 and 2001. They are a relative new team and have only been formed since 2002 winning their maiden premiership in 2014.

        But SSTID-1970 or should I say SSTID- 2002 If you persist in believing that your team did not die in 1999 but was still alive then the Roosters are still the eldest club on this stat. Roosters have played in 110 seasons South Sydney 108 seasons. Now it has been a long time since I went to school mate but that to me reads like they have two years up on those Wabbits. Any person thing or substance that is two years older than something else.

        Is two years older

        • Mate seriously, how can the Roosters be 2 years older if the Rabbitohs have an earlier birthday? If someone had a relative in a coma for 2 years they would not wake up and be considered 2 years younger! Your logic is flawed WoodChook. And my apologies to ZT contributors for such a bad taste analogy, but it is fitting for the purpose. I hope I did not offend anyone with that comment. If so I apologise.

          See what you’ve done now WoodChook, you’ve made me make the kiddies cry! Here’s another example WoodChook, if we sent YOU to the moon for 2 years (and DON’T TEMPT me WoodChook, DON’T TEMPT me, or one of these days WoodChook (Alice)… I’m going to send you to the MOON!) when you got back you would not be 2 years younger, you would have had the same number of birthdays but you would have to concede that although you were 100 years old WoodChook, you had only lived on earth for 98 years. THAT is about the gist of it.

        • “Roosters have played in 110 seasons”

          Yes but as 3 DIFFERENT entities WoodChook! So WHICH ONE are we talking about?

          Eastern Suburbs Roosters: 1908 – 1994 (86 years) R.I.P.
          Sydney City Roosters: 1995 – 1999 (4 years) R.I.P.
          Sydney Roosters: 2000 – present (18 years)

          A caterpillar may become a butterfly but a butterfly CANNOT become a caterpillar WoodChook. Why can’t you chickens understand basic biology? You can’t crawl back into your egg WoodChook no matter how many times you try. The South Sydney Rabbitohs have ALWAYS been the South Sydney Rabbitohs (cardinal and myrtle) for 110 years! THAT is why Souths are celebrating 110 years on all their merchandise this year and NOT 108 years! Oh Foghorn Leghorn, WHAT has nurse Ratched done to you? WoodChook that is NOT electrotherapy, it’s shock treatment! Run WoodChook! RUN!

        • Not to be pedantic but Souths didn’t officially use the Rabbitoh emblem until 1959. Also there have been official variations of the famous cardinal and myrtle. Remember the mintie jersey of the early 80’s. Only technicalities I know but I love technicalities. Also on a side note Easts and Newtown played the first ever club game. But to suggest the Rabbitohs are not 110 years old is silly. Also to suggest, despite minor variations to the name that Easts are also not 110 is just as silly.

        • Although marketing names have changed, the Roosters are still registered with the National Rugby League competition as the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club.[41]

        • tommy you are missing the point entirely. I did not argue that there has never been a change of uniform but the identity of the team has been unchanged in 110 years. I know you love to torment me with your “technicalities” tommy. Just like your stats that paint an incomplete picture of crowd attendances at Redfern oval during the 70’s. It isn’t silly tommy, the Roosters identity has changed more times than a Jekyll and Hyde persona. They have lost their sense of self. The Brisbane Broncos have ALWAYS been the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs have ALWAYS been the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The Roosters cannot make that claim and Easts (as you refer to them) has been obsolete and abandoned for 22 years. Time to let go tommy, along with your framed photgraph of JBP.

          At the very least tommy/WoodChook I am saying that BOTH teams have been around (in some form or another) for 110 years… but the Rabbitohs just a bit longer! Now are there any more “technicalities” tommy? Or do I have to make the spaceship a two-seater so you can join WoodChook on the MOON? 😉

        • The Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club (ESDRLFC) was formed on 24 January 1908[4] at a meeting at the Paddington Town Hall in Sydney[5] after it was decided that the district should enter a team in the newly formed New South Wales Rugby Football League.[6] The ESDRLFC was formed, under its articles of association with the NSWRL, to represent the geographic areas in Sydney covering the Waverley, Randwick, Woollahra, Paddington, Darlinghurst and Vaucluse local government municipalities, as well as the eastern parts of the Sydney CBD. Indeed, the ‘suburb’ of Sydney, postcode 2000, falls entirely within the official boundaries of the ESDRLFC. The club was founded in 1908 in Paddington, Sydney, as Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club; in 1995 the club’s brand name was changed to the Sydney City Roosters and, in 2000, to simply the Sydney Roosters. Although marketing names have changed, the Roosters are still registered with the National Rugby League competition as the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club.

          It was appropriate That after souths death in 1999 they were readmitted to the League in 2002 as a new entity and were flooged by the Roosters in their very first game ever as the new South Sydney 40-6 by the Roosters. It was also satisfying for ALL league fans that this new club lead by the dollars of George Piggins South Sydney less their Junior leagues club financial support were able to witness first hand in their very first season the Eastern Suburbs Roosters ( marketed as Sydney Roosters) go on to win the 2002 Premiership.

        • SSTID-2002 🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓 Sydney Roosters our marketing name is so much better then a dial on a compass like East or South. However when the Crowd sings out East, East, East it really gets the feathers on my crown to stand up on end. Its a shame the rabbits came up with such a name on the back of some poor soul trying to hock off dead rabbits out of his wheelbarrow to make a quid. The Rooster emblem was influenced by the sun rising in the East where the Rooster Crows.

        • The rooster was actually copied from the visiting French Rugby League team in the 60s as the Easts team also wore the traditional French tricolours. Before this Easts did not have an official emblem.

        • SSTID-1970 nurse Ratched has caught up with me, I must depart or I will miss out on my sponge bath tomorrow morning. See ya friend. but I quickly must finish on this note. Easts 110 yrs in first grade 110 season leading South’s on 108 years in first grade 108 seasons. Sydney Roosters (ESDRLFC) defeated Newtown 32-16 in the very first game ever. Newtown’s Jack Scott at Wentworth Park – he scored the first ever try and kicked the conversion.

        • Tommy Knocker That was an influential fact from the strong visiting French team however it is Rooster folklore that being East, the wind dial always has a Rooster facing East. So it wasn’t hard for those in power to go with the Rooster in the 1960’s

        • “our marketing name is so much better then a dial on a compass like East or South”

          But the chooks have lost their compass WoodChook and lost their soul, their identity in the process. As Eastern Suburbs (Easts) the Roosters once had an identity, a history, a purpose. They were free range back then WoodChook before marketing took over and taught all those in the chook pen to fear for their survival during the Super League war. The Roosters sold their identity for a handful of chook feed and a false hope that taking the title of “Sydney” would guarantee their survival even though (geographically speaking) the Rabbitohs were more entitled to the name of Sydney being closer to the Sydney CBD.

          Redfern to Sydney CBD: (4.2 km) via George St
          Bondi Junction to Sydney CBD: (6.6 km) via Cross City Tunnel

          “Its a shame the rabbits came up with such a name on the back of some poor soul trying to hock off dead rabbits out of his wheelbarrow to make a quid”

          No WoodChook, not a shame at all. Souths fans are proud of their history and their tradition and even when faced with oblivion and exile from the game they helped to found they did not sell out. They were true to their roots, their name and their history. They held firm and did not panic. They went down with the ship instead of abandoning it because some marketing guru showed them a shinier boat with a brighter future. Deep down WoodChook you KNOW that I am right. I will tell you something old mate, I am far prouder of the Rabbitohs stance not to abandon their history, their ideals or their identity despite the 2 years in exile and the threat of oblivion. South Sydney’s identity, traditions and legacy remain intact while the Roosters are in tatters on the floor like so many disconnected pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

          Souths fans are also proud of their blue-collar, working-class roots. Something that the Roosters fans have never been able to understand even though you all bought our rabbits back in the day. WE were the ones that got our hands dirty while you took the easier path and 110 years later nothing has changed.

          Don’t fret Foghorn Leghorn, Bunnies and Roosters supports have been having this argument for generations and will for many more to come. If you have trouble sleeping, try count Souths premierships (21) you will be asleep before you get to 2014! 😉

        • SSTID I guess it is how you define identity and most would not have considered the Roosters identity altered since 1908. I never considered them a different entity. Did your tradional loathing lessen with each minor name change? Were Souths a different entity in 1960 after they offically added the Rabbitoh to the South Sydney. Easts and Souths have histories that should be celebrated. To lessen or cheapen the Roosters history, considering to their celebrated rivalry with Souths, IMO, also cheapens Souths history and the game. Our two remaining “inception” clubs should be celebrated by all fans.

        • SSTID-1970/2002 Souffs were formed 7 days before the Roosters, However the Roosters vs Newtown game was completed at Wentworth Park before the South’s vs North’s game at Birchgrove oval which makes the Roosters the longest/oldest playing team in the comp. Also if we round a year off at 365 days times that by two = 730 days – 7 days FOR REGISTRATION BEFORE THE ROOSTERS =723 days. There my Rabbit buddy is the difference in age of these first grade sides. The Roosters are 723 days older than those dead wheelbarrow smelly rabbitohs. 😁

        • Nice try WoodChook but semantics won’t win this argument. I was prepared to share the title as the only 2 remaining foundation clubs. Is that not good enough? Must you always have something to crow about? Chickens need to learn to share, too much time in a battery cage can lead to tunnel vision.

          I would love to debate this further gentlemen but this story is about to close for comments and my posts are currently being suspended for an indefinite period of time pending review. So you both have me at a disadvantage and unable to answer your arguments in a timely fashion. Still, there is always another day.. Glory, glory to South Sydney! Their premierships keep marching on! LOL

        • Tommy Knocker You are 100% correct. It is a demonstration between SSTID-1970 and myself how the Roosters and Souths rivalry is. We will contest each other on everything including the fact South’s only won that first premiership in 1908 because the silly organizers had to send Dally Messenger off on a Kangaroo tour to England and miss the grand final because the boat took 3months to get to the old dart. Without the then known worlds best player South’s beat us in the grand final. Any way deep down all South’s fans know they were lucky to win that game. See what I mean this is what the Easts vs South’s rivalry is like. Its healthy for the game. SSTID-1970 knows the Roosters are officially 723days more experienced than the Rabbits. So how can we define it? Are you older if you agree to play in a competition 7 days before another? Or If a team played first before another? or by the amount of days they are officially participating in competition?

        • “South’s only won that first premiership in 1908 because the silly organizers had to send Dally Messenger off on a Kangaroo tour to England and miss the grand final”

          You speak as if you were there WoodChook. As for myself I can only go back to the 70’s for my personal experience. Surely the Rabbitohs had a number of players missing on that tour as well. There are two sides to every story after all. The 1909 premiership against the Balmain Tigers was less than honourable I grant you but don’t forget South Sydney drew the 1910 GF with the Newtown Blue bags 4 – 4 and only lost on a countback but the Tigers got their own back in 1969 when they resorted to lying down and feigning injury to slow down and disrupt the game to their advantage, so swings and roundabouts. I think that the Sea Eagles fans would also have some complaints about refereeing partiality in the Roosters 2013 GF win but let’s not open up a can of worms. Like Pandora, let’s close the box on this for now and leave Hope inside. 😉

        • @ tommy

          “To lessen or cheapen the Roosters history, considering to their celebrated rivalry with Souths, IMO, also cheapens Souths history and the game.”

          But then you are trying to judge from the outside looking in. WoodChook understands the dance, the eternal struggle between both groups of supporters. Other chooks fams may miss the point but WoodChook does not. The rivalry MUST be kept alive for the history of the game to be alive. These 2 clubs are the yin and yang of RL. Two opposites but part of the same whole. The last link left to the NRL history and link to the beginning of the game. But Souths have won 21 premierships even after playing for 2 years less than the Roosters! Sorry WoodChook, it’s ingrained as you well know.

          “Easts and Souths have histories that should be celebrated. Our two remaining “inception” clubs should be celebrated by all fans.”

          Here! Here! So celebrate us tommy, the Rabbitohs and the Roosters. WoodChook and I are only too happy to bask in your praise and adoration (at least for our two clubs). All hail the Rabbitohs and the Roosters! But the Rabbitohs still get top billing as they were registered before the Roosters and have almost double the premierships of all 3 of the Roosters entities combined. LOL

  3. Would be interesting to see these rankings alongside membership numbers and game attendances.
    I don’t get The Warriors You tube numbers???

    • “I don’t get The Warriors You tube numbers???”

      At least 3,000 of the 3,341 typed in “NZ Kiwis” looking for footage of the All Blacks I would imagine.

        • I am trying not to “imagine” the Warriors at all if I am honest. It is like a neighbour who lives halfway down the street trying to invite themselves for Christmas lunch and everyone is just too polite to remind them it is only for family. I think that it is more likely these hits would have been from confused Kiwis looking for All Blacks footage than for Kiwis actually looking for Warriors highlights. Don’t you agree?

    • THAT’s why we have “the silly season” chalky. In general there is never any news this time of year only speculation and gossip.

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