Cape Town - South African Super Rugby TV viewership and attendance figures are dwindling at an alarming rate.
According to Rapport, SuperSport’s South African viewership of Super Rugby games dramatically decreased in 2016.
Up until Round 9 of this year’s competition, viewership figures decreased by 3.8 million viewers compared to the same stage four years ago.
According to the Afrikaans newspaper, TV viewership also decreased in Australia and New Zealand, but not nearly as much as in South Africa.
Attendance figures at stadiums are also decreasing, with only Newlands - which boasts an average of 26 992 fans per game - able to fill more than a half-full stadium.
Ellis Park, the home venue of the table-topping Lions, only has an average of 19 808 (32%) fans per game, while Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (15%, 6 914 fans per game), Free State Stadium (17%, 7 780), Loftus Versfeld (35%, 17 921) and Kings Park (45%, 23 591) are all struggling to put bums on seats.
According to a local rugby boss - who wished to remain anonymous - the struggling economy, several top players plying their trade overseas and the transformation issue all play a part in the lack of interest in the competition.