Don’t forget, any expansion will be aimed at getting maximum value from the next round of tv rights.
Perth opens up a market of over 2.5 million new viewers. That’s a big deal.
Dubbo (or even for that sake, Brisbane) would not expand the tv audience at all.
The NRL would most likely subsidise Perth because they can sell the tv rights for more.
It’s a nice idea, but simply, Dubbo’s economy isn’t big enough to support an NRL club. You need huge corporate sponsorship bucks to run a footy club.
Greater Western Sydney’s economy (with basically 2 NRL sides) is worth $114 billion p/a compared to $2 billion in the greater Dubbo area.
Perth is a $182 billion economy and would bring more viewers and bigger tv bucks.
Gus has an ego as big as the MCG, but he loves and knows our game inside out.
He’ll be down at the local footy club at Shalvey, eating a sausage sanga, while the NRL head honchos are terrified of travelling any further west than Balmain.
The writing is on the wall for the next rights and Gus knows it. It could be financial bloodshed with Netflix and digital mopping up viewers and 9/Fox struggling.
Of course Brisbane can support another team. Perth and Auckland, while not awesome choices, would make a rights deal more attractive.
The clubs do own the game, albeit indirectly. Without clubs, the NRL has no product to sell.