One of Australia's most powerful sports marketers claims rugby league's history of off-field violence, drug use and alleged corruption has only made the code a more attractive proposition.
In a controversial industry address on the day Australian sport was rocked by accusations of widespread drug use and match fixing, Mumbrella's Ben Amarfio – executive GM of marketing, digital and communications for Cricket Australia - argued the NRL and AFL would actually prosper from all the negative publicity surrounding the scandal.
Amarfio used the NRL's recent record broadcast rights deal as evidence that what doesn't kill a sport only makes it stronger.
"It's not always such a bad thing to get negative press," he said.
"In the last 12 months, the NRL has had players assault women, players assault policemen, they've had drug, corruption and match fixing issues – the list goes on and on.
"And yet they've just signed a TV deal for over $1billion, which is almost 50 percent bigger than their last TV deal.
"Despite the noise that's been created in the media, even though it's negative, it actually creates a lot more interest in your brand and your sport."
As leading administrators grapple with the biggest controversy to hit Australian sport, Amarfio suggested the NRL and AFL would both benefit in the long run.
"It's a huge story. But I guarantee that this story will prompt a lot of interest, and generate a lot of discussion and debate around sport," he said.
Amarfio did, however, add one caveat, declaring: "I only worry about it when it gets to the stage where people are saying we're immoral or doing something illegal.
"Then that's where you worry as a marketer."