RTÉ records rise in Six Nations digital views

Rugby tournament generates more than 5m site visits and 520,000 live streams

George Hook, Ronan O’Gara and Conor O’Shea on the RTÉ Sport panel for its RTÉ Two’s Six Nations coverage. Photograph: Andres Poveda

George Hook, Ronan O’Gara and Conor O’Shea on the RTÉ Sport panel for its RTÉ Two’s Six Nations coverage. Photograph: Andres Poveda

 

The 2015 Six Nations rugby championship was a good one for RTÉ’s digital platforms, with traffic to its dedicated site for the tournament 60 per cent higher than it was in 2014 and live streams of matches up 9 per cent.

Visits to the site increased from 3.13 million last year to 5.04 million over the period of the 2015 tournament, according to RTÉ.

The number of people who streamed the matches live via a digital device throughout the tournament arrived at 520,000, which was 44,000 higher than it was in 2014. Total streams, including programmes, additional content and clips, arrived at almost 900,000, with more than half of the digital audience watching on a mobile or tablet, rather than a desktop or laptop.

Ryle Nugent, group head of RTÉ Sport, said this year’s surge in digital engagement by rugby fans backed up its policy of making the games available across all platforms.

The strong digital viewing did not detract from the RTÉ Two audience, which also rose. The 15 matches attracted an average of 425,600 viewers, which RTÉ says is the highest audience for the Six Nations for more than 10 years. This was despite the fact that the average viewership of 632,000 for the five Irish matches was down slightly, although higher in terms of audience share.

The overall figures were boosted by the fact the tournament went down to the wire. The average viewership for Ireland’s final match against Scotland was 697,000, while the climactic England v France secured an average of 656,500.

However, the most-watched match this year on RTÉ Two came earlier in the tournament. Ireland v England on Sunday, March 1st, attracted an average of 1.01 million people. This made the match, which Ireland won 19-9, the number one programme of the year to date for adults aged 15-34 and for male viewers across all age groups. This game alone generated more than 100,000 live streams on RTÉ Player.

Last year, the highest-rating match was France v Ireland, which was watched by an average of 891,000 people.