Average audiences of 676,000 and 686,000 tuned into RTÉ for the recent games against Portugal and the All Blacks.

The peak number watching the Autumn Series international on Saturday hit 854,000 as the final whistle blew on a third victory over New Zealand in the last five meetings between the sides.

The audience represented 66 per cent of the TV watching public at that point.

The share was lower for the Football, attracting 49 per cent of the available audience on Thursday night but the peak was higher at 905,000 tuning in to see the end of the game and Cristiano Ronaldo’s giving of his jersey to young Shelbourne FC player Addison Whelan.

The Dublin Senior Hurling Final between Kilmacud Crokes and Na Fianna which went dramatically into extra time was shown on Saturday after the rugby and maintained an average audience of 158,000.

The Republic of Ireland away game in Luxembourg on Sunday night had an average of 499,000 viewers and a share of 36 per cent. That audience peaked at 646,000 at 21.28.

The other RTÉ live sport over the weekend saw an average of 71,000 and a share of 8 per cent for the U21 football international against Italy on Friday night, while Sunday’s Racing from Navan was seen by an average of 33,000 viewers, a share of 7%.

In addition to the linear TV numbers, there were over 100,000 streams of the two football matches with 66,300 for Portugal and 44,700 for Luxembourg.

Ireland v New Zealand had 109,000 streams which is the highest number of streams for an international rugby match on RTÉ Player since the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

“The numbers across sporting codes shows just how sport can unite a nation at key moments,” said RTÉ Head of Sport Declan McBennett, “and how important public service free to air sports coverage is for players, fans, federations and the audience.”


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