The power of local and of free-to-air over pay TV was evident on Sunday when Limerick’s All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship victory in Croke Park was watched by over a million viewers in Ireland.

This was despite opposition at the same time from the Open Championship and the Hungarian Grand Prix both being shown live on Sky Sports.

An average of 830,000 were tuned into The Sunday Game Live on RTÉ2 with an additional 9,000 viewers on RTÉ2+1.The RTÉ2 audience represented a share of 71% of those watching TV at the time.

Television coverage peaked at 936,000 at 4.46pm and overall reached 1,125,000 viewers.

There were 193,000 streams on RTÉ Player, up from 109,000 for last year’s decider while the 830,000 average on RTÉ2 was the highest audience for a Hurling Final since 2019.

77% of Adults 15-34 watching TV at the time were tuned to RTÉ2’s live coverage. Sunday night’s highlights and review of the Hurling year on the Sunday Game drew an average audience of 177,000 with a share of 21%.

“The dynamic nature of the final deserved to be enjoyed by the nation as a whole,: said RTÉ Head of Sport Declan McBennett.

“Kilkenny’s first half intensity and Limerick’s second half display of power and skill was testimony to the high standards that we now take for granted.”

“For a million plus people to enjoy the spectacle as well as those in attendance and those listening on radio is a fitting climax to the inter county hurling season.”

Sport for Business Perspective:

This reminder of the importance of free-to-air coverage is timely. In Australia for the Women’s World Cup only the Australia games, the semi-finals and the Final are in the package of rights bought by Channel 7 for advertiser funded broadcast. The remainder of the games are behind a paywall.