An average audience of 883,700 tuned-in to RTÉ2 for Ireland’s thrilling Guinness Series win over New Zealand on Saturday.
That represented 57 per cent of those watching TV at the time. As the game drew to a close the number of viewers watching live rose to over 1 million viewers.
In addition, there were over 135,000 streams of the match on the RTÉ Player over the weekend, with 93,800 watching online on Saturday and another 43,500 on Sunday as people relived the glory.
The average audience for the Saturday afternoon opening game of this years six nations was down at 570,000, It was the first game to be shown as part of Virgin Media’s three-year deal to broadcast that tournament.
The number of viewers rose through the competition though with an average of 951,000 tuning in to see Ireland beat England to win the Grand Slam on St Patrick’s Day. That average audience was 7.7 per cent ahead of Saturday night, though the number of streams in the immediate aftermath was 35 per cent higher this weekend.
The high water mark for Irish rugby to date came when Ireland played England at Croke Park in 2007. On that evening, when the match got underway at 5-40 pm, an average audience of 1,052,000 tuned in throughout the game.
Interestingly though, the impact of social media and faster breaking news eleven years on, the peak audience for the same fixture in 2018 was more than 120,000 higher, at 1,328,000, than it was in 2007.
The average audience for this year’s victory of Limerick in the All Ireland Hurling Final on RTÉ2 was 846,100.
Image Credit: Ramsey Cardy, Sportsfile