Rugby game crashes into TG4’s all-time top five

‘Rugbaí Beo’ coverage of RaboDirectPro12 clash takes fourth spot in channel’s all-time list

Munster’s Keith Earls and Gordon D’Arcy of Leinster at the final whistle last Saturday. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

The encounter between the Leinster and Munster rugby teams last Saturday was the fourth most-watched programme in the history of TG4 and its highest ever audience for rugby.

Rugbaí Beo 's coverage of the RaboDirect Pro12 match at the Aviva Stadium secured an average audience of 308,000 across its broadcast, with a peak audience of 509,000 viewers and a total reach of 765,000, according to TAM Ireland/ Nielsen Media Research figures.

“TG4 has made a mark with its live sports’ coverage and we are delighted that this keenly-awaited match at the Aviva Stadium attracted more viewers than the reverse fixture in Thomond Park between these two great teams earlier in the season, shown on another TV channel,” says TG4 sports editor Rónán Ó Coisdealbha.

So what is the most-watched programme in TG4's 18-year history? The Allianz Hurling League final in May 2011 between Dublin and Kilkenny takes the top spot with an average of 310,000 viewers.


The Allianz Football League final in the same year pulled in almost as many viewers, with 309,000 people watching Cork and Dublin, while another GAA fixture, the Allianz Hurling League final from 2007, comes in third with 308,000.

A UEFA Cup (now known as the Europa League) clash between Barcelona and Celtic in 2004 attracted an average of 289,000 viewers and rounds out TG4's all-sport top five.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

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