RTÉ2 nabs seven times TV3’s audience for Euro 2016 final

Portugal v France match was shown on both channels as part of sub-licensing deal

RTÉ2’s pre-match show was watched by an average of 271,000, while an average of 596,000 stuck around for the post-match analysis, which included a tribute to retiring panellist Johnny Giles.

RTÉ2’s pre-match show was watched by an average of 271,000, while an average of 596,000 stuck around for the post-match analysis, which included a tribute to retiring panellist Johnny Giles.

 

RTÉ2’s coverage of the Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal on Sunday was watched by an average of 782,100 people, with 46 per cent of those watching television at the time tuning into the channel.

RTÉ attracted seven times the audience that tuned into TV3 for the final, which it was broadcasting for the first time as part of a television rights sub-licensing deal with RTÉ.

An average of 116,000 people, or a 7 per cent share, watched Portugal beat France in extra time on TV3, which had Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill in the studio to give his verdict.

The long-established appeal of the advertising-free BBC, with a little help from presenter Gary Lineker, held sway for an average of 149,000 viewers in Ireland, according to the TAM Ireland ratings compiled by researchers Nielsen.

RTÉ2’s pre-match show was watched by an average of 271,000, while an average of 596,000 stuck around for the post-match analysis, which included a tribute to retiring panellist Johnny Giles.

In the UK, the BBC traditionally beats ITV for viewers when both channels are showing football tournament finals, and on Sunday it had a margin of four to one.

This was the first time that both RTÉ and TV3 broadcast the same live football game. TV3, which is owned by Virgin Media, acquired shared rights to the final and exclusive rights to 21 matches, with RTÉ2 keeping exclusive rights to 29 matches, including both semi-finals.

The sub-licensing agreement came about because RTÉ, which originally secured the full Irish television rights, needed to recoup money to balance its books. It is in an expensive year for the broadcaster, with the 1916 centenary coverage, a general election and coverage of the Olympic Games all eating into its budget.

RTÉ group head of sport Ryle Nugent said it was “extremely heartening” that despite the increased competition, RTÉ Sport “continues to engage Irish audiences in such huge numbers”.

RTÉ said the ten most watched games of the tournament in Ireland had all been on RTÉ2.

The final was the fifth biggest match of the tournament, after the Irish team’s four performances. Ireland’s defeat to France in the round of 16 on Sunday, June 26th, was the most-watched, with an average of 1.26 million viewers and an 83 per cent share of the available audience.

The most-watched game on the RTÉ Player was Ireland’s match against Sweden, which had a kick-off of 5pm on Monday, June 13th, and attracted almost 132,000 streams. The final was streamed by 94,100 people on the RTÉ Player.

Competition for television sports rights is likely to intensify in the years ahead with RTÉ battling for “premium” events with TV3, Eir and Sky. RTÉ Television managing director Glen Killane last week left the broadcaster to become managing director of Eir TV and Eir Sport.