Irish TV viewers switch on to more screen time

Viewing inches up by two minutes a day in 2015 compared with previous year

Aidan Gillen as Charles Haughey in the RTÉ drama series Charlie, which attracted an average viewership of 851,700 for its most-watched episode.

Irish adults watched an average of three hours and 30 minutes of television every day in 2015 – that's more than 24 hours each week, according to the official TAM Ireland/Nielsen figure. The figure is also two minutes more per day than the average recorded for 2014.

“It seems that the more choice consumers have on TV the more they watch,” says TAM Ireland chief executive Jill McGrath.

Sport was an even bigger winner than usual, accounting for 12 of the top 20 programmes on air in 2015. Only the Late Late Toy Show could triumph over the popularity of the Rugby World Cup, with Ireland's matches against France, Argentina and Italy taking second, third and fourth place respectively.

The tournament also helped TV3 take a record five of the top 20 places, with even a non-Ireland match, England v Australia, making the cut in 16th place.


Apart from the rugby, GAA, soccer and toys, the entries on the list are RTÉ One drama Charlie (sixth), two Mrs Brown's Boys specials (ninth and 12th), the RTÉ Nine O'Clock news (14th), The Late Late Show (15th) and two RTÉ One Sunday staples, The Voice of Ireland (17th) and Room to Improve (20th). There was no room for Fair City, Operation Transformation or Six-One.

With 851,700 viewers for its most-watched episode, the lure of Charlie looks likely to prove greater than that of less recent history in Rebellion, though the latter still has three episodes left to run.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics