The National Rugby League (NRL) is the top league of professional Rugby league football clubs in Australasia, run by the Australian Rugby League Commission. The competition is known as the Telstra Premiership due to sponsorship from Telstra Corporation and is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand. It is regarded as the world's elite rugby league championship and, per season, is the single most viewed and attended rugby football competition in the world.
The National Rugby League is the present-day embodiment of Australia's top-level domestic club competition, which in turn grew from Sydney's local club competition, which has been running continuously since 1908. The NRL formed in the aftermath of the 1990s' Super League war as a joint partnership between the sport's already-existing national governing body, the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and media giant News Corporation-controlled Super League, after both organisations ran premierships parallel to each other in 1997. This partnership was dissolved in February 2012, with control of the NRL going to the independently-formed Australian Rugby League Commission.
NRL matches are played in Australia and New Zealand from autumn until spring. The season culminates in the premiership-deciding game, the NRL Grand Final, traditionally one of Sydney's most popular sporting events and one of the largest attended rugby league club championship events .In addition, the NRL premiers also play in the World Club Challenge, a pre-season match against the champions of the European Super League competition.
The NRL consists of sixteen clubs: eight clubs based within Greater Sydney, two in regional New South Wales, three in Queensland and one each in Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand. The league operates on a single group system, with no divisions or conferences and no relegation and promotion from other leagues.
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