It’s not all about radio as ‘X Factor’ back with a bang

Sharon Osbourne’s return boosted ‘X Factor’ ratings

Sharon Osbourne’s return boosted ‘X Factor’ ratings


What with all the talk about radio this week – all those column inches devoted to Pat Kenny versus Sean O’ Rourke, Newstalk vs RTÉ, radio has never been so noisy and it seems that TV is feeling a little put out, with TAM Ireland /Nielsen sending a press release trumpeting “a phenomenal weekend of viewing”.

They’re not wrong there. According to the release, people watched live TV for an average of three hours and 17 minutes each day on Saturday and Sunday of last weekend – that’s 10 minutes more live TV than was watched on the same weekend last year which had “a similar line up of programming”.

Well maybe not so similar – for one thing X Factor (UTV, TV3) maestro Simon Cowell had the smarts to bring back Sharon Osbourne to the judging table. She’s more mother hen than acerbic harpy – so far anyway – but her presence tipped the ratings to more than nine million viewers in the UK.

X Factor averaged 9.2 million viewers on Saturday – a half a million more than the same time last year.

The GAA Dublin vs Kerry semi-final thriller delivered a massive 823,000 viewers to RTÉ for the Sunday Game Live, making it the highest rating sports event of the year so far.

And it wasn’t just the game – viewers stuck around for the post-match analysis and the inevitable Joe Brolly, Pat Spillane niggle. Sixty seven per cent of everyone watching TV at the time tuned in – an impressive, caveman trouncing figure in an era of media fragmentation.