It has without doubt been a summer where hurling has stood tall and the sense of it’s holding sway over football at present is backed up by TV viewing figures which RTÉ has produced exclusively for Sport for Business.
The aggregate audience for the two Hurling Semi-Finals hits 997,000 while the equivalent two games in the Football Championship came in 100,000 less at 896,000.
Ten of the games so far this summer that have attracted an audience of over 300,000 have been with the small ball, with five in Football doing likewise.
The revised format of the provincial championships in hurling can also be seen to be a winner with three matches each from Munster and Leinster making the Top 15 while the only one to do so at that stage in Football was the Connacht Football Final between Galway and Mayo.
Dublin Footballers pursuit of Four All Ireland’s in a row produced two games in this top echelon while Galway’s search for back to back titles has so far been seen by just shy of 2 million across five games that have breached an average viewership of 300,000.
Traditionally the All Ireland Football final has produced around a 20 percent higher viewership and it may yet do so again this year but hurling can stand tall off the back not only of a stunning three-part documentary programme but also in capturing the hearts and the eyeballs of the viewing public
The Top 15 GAA Championship TV Viewing Figures to August 12th 2018
Limerick Vs Cork 543,000 All Ireland Semi Final (Hurling)
Galway Vs Clare 454,000 All Ireland Semi Final (Hurling)
Dublin Vs Galway 449,000 All Ireland Semi Final (Football)
Tyrone Vs Monaghan 447,000 All Ireland Semi Final (Football)
Galway Vs Clare 417,000 All Ireland Semi Final Replay (Hurling)
Galway Vs Kilkenny 411,000 Leinster Hurling Championship
Monaghan Vs Kerry 397,000 All Ireland Quarter Final Series (Football)
Kilkenny Vs Limerick 384,000 All Ireland Quarter Final (Hurling)
Dublin Vs Donegal 377,000 All Ireland Quarter Final Series (Football)
Kilkenny Vs Galway 363,000 Leinster Hurling Final Replay
Cork Vs Clare 361,000 Munster Hurling Championship
Waterford Vs Tipperary 355,000 Munster Hurling Championship
Mayo Vs Galway 351,000 Connacht Football Final
Kilkenny Vs Galway 347,000 Leinster Hurling Final
Clare Vs Limerick 324,000 Munster Hurling Championship
Source: RTÉ Audience Insights
Join us tomorrow when we chat with the All Ireland Hurling Championship sponsors about what this year has been like for them ahead of Sunday’s Final