It would be good if one of the streaming platforms spent $40 million a year on a rebel rugby league competition to service the cities and regions that aren't covered by the NRL. That's enough to support an eight team competition with a salary cap of $5 million.They've f**ked their launch up so badly that it will probably take at least a generation (roughly 20 years) for them to build a strong fanbase, and unless it's pushed by outside socio-economic factors (like South's core audience moving west) they'll almost certainly never develop a significant fanbase outside of parts of Morton Bay, those with easy access to Suncorp/their home ground, and potentially parts of North Brisbane if they play their cards right. Their traditional model simply won't allow for that sort of city wide growth without alienating their core audience in Redcliffe and surrounding parts of Moreton Bay, which they, like all RL clubs, will be too timid to risk alienating.
They're almost certainly going to follow a similar path to the Titans (for different reasons and probably minus the money issues), where they'll be super popular for the first few seasons, then the novelty will wear off and they'll be reliant on on-field results to draw a crowd until either enough people have grown up supporting the club to build a reliable fanbase, or they have a golden period early in their history in the NRL where they build a dynasty and that success draws support (a la Storm or Raiders). Obviously the prior is the much more likely scenario.
Because of the way the Brisbane market has now been split chances are that Brisbane will have at least a third club long before the Dolphins are truly cemented in the market, and odds are that Brisbane will get their third long before Adelaide is even in the discussion, and potentially even before Perth get a real shot a license depending on politics at the ARLC, NRL, and broadcasters.
Then again, given the rate at which the NRL expands I don't think it's outside the realms of possibility that it could be 2040 before the NRL adds the 19th and 20th licenses, which would be almost 20 years after the Dolphins joined the NRL, so who knows.
There's only a limited number of sporting leagues available and a lot of streaming companies who need content. Drama is expensive to produce and not guaranteed to draw ratings, hence the reason FTA no longer focuses on it.
I think Optus is spending $100 million a year for the EPL, which doesn't draw high ratings in this country. I'd laugh my guts out if Optus splashed this sort of money on a rebel league to draw customers away from Telstra/Foxtel, as it would be a reversal of what happened in the 90s.
A-League gets $40 million from Paramount+. Rugby Australia gets $33 million from STAN. NBL gets $15 million from ESPN. A rebel RL competition would draw more customers than any of those sporting leagues.
Spark Sport needs content. It would be great if they teamed up with Paramount+ or STAN Sport to create a rebel RL competition that has a couple of teams from NZ, a few from Queensland plus Adelaide and Perth. Invite the North Sydney Bears and a Central Coast team to compete and that's a decent competition.