Our Most Watched TV Programmes of 2019

Live sport accounted for 26 of the most-watched programmes on Irish Television last year.

That represents the same proportion as was the case in 2018, though this year sees seven appearing in the top ten as opposed to six last year and thirteen in the Top 10 as opposed to ten.

The All Ireland Football Final Replay was the most-watched sporting event with 991,000 tuning into RTÉ2.  The first game has an audience of 988,000 in third place overall, a significant 18 per cent increase on the numbers who watched Dublin beat Tyrone in 2018.

The All Ireland Hurling Final between Tipperary and Kilkenny came in fifth overall, with an audience of 829,000 down from 854,000 who watched Limerick’s breakthrough win in 2018.

Overall the GAA provided eleven of the fifty top programmes and an audience of 6.86 million.

Dividing the All Ireland Finals was the Ireland Vs England clash in the Guinness Six Nations on Virgin Media One.

Despite last year’s clash seeing Ireland win the Grand Slam, this year’s clash added numbers with 980,000 viewers as opposed to the 975,000 who watched last year.

The overall number who tuned into the five live matches from the Guinness Six Nations on Virgin media One was 3,524,000 in 2019 as opposed to 3,539,000 twelve months previously.

The disappointment from the Rugby World Cup, as well as the morning kickoffs in Japan, saw the figures come in lower than would have been the case with a winning team in a better time zone but Ireland’s Quarter-Final defeat to new Zealand did attract an average audience of 766,000 putting it into the top ten in seventh place.

A comparison between the Rugby and Football World Cups can be made by comparing the 440,000 who tuned in to see South Africa beat England in Tokyo to the 650,000 who watched France beat Croatia in Moscow in July 2018.

Four of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers made it into the 2019 list alongside two games on Virgin media featuring Liverpool against Barcelona and Tottenham in the Champions’ League

The TAM Ireland/Nielsen figures for 2019 demonstrate that television viewing continues to dominate our leisure time with the average Irish adult in a TV home watching for 2 hours 55 minutes every day.

85 per cent of daily viewing is consumed live with just 15 per cent watched as catch up. 60 per cent of all TV homes in Ireland now have PVR capability (the ability to pause, rewind and record live TV).

On RTÉ Player, which has seen a growth of 20 per cent in viewing in 2019, Ireland v Russia in the Rugby World cup was the most-streamed programme of 2019, closely followed by The Young Offenders at 240,000 streams and the Late Late Toy Show at 239,000 streams.

“Coming together to pay tribute and to celebrate is one of the things RTÉ takes great pride in,” said Adrian Lynch, Director of Channels, Marketing and Audiences at RTÉ.

“The figures released today by TAM Ireland show that TV is very much a part of our daily lives and that, despite competition from other channels in Ireland, the UK and elsewhere, RTÉ programming is most popular with Irish audiences.”


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