Rugby World Cup brings in record audiences for TV3
Peak viewers of 1.4 million tuned in for each of two separate Ireland matches
New Zealand’s Kieran Read and Australia’s David Pocock during the Rugby World Cup final. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
If Ireland’s exit to Argentina at the quarter final stage of this year’s Rugby World Cup brought a few tears to the eyes of the average punter, you can just imagine what it must have been like in the TV3 commercial department.
Despite the early exit, the competition was still a hugely successful period for the station, with the record for most viewers broken on two occasions.
It happened first during the Ireland versus Italy match which had an average of 956,000 viewers and a peak of 1.4 million.
This was broken a week later during the Ireland versus France game, which brought in an average of 1.2 million viewers and a peak of 1.4 million.
The quarter final against Argentina didn’t exceed the figures from the French game, but it had an audience share of 75 per cent, with 1.1 million viewers.
TV3 commercial director Pat Kiely said the numbers were “extraordinarily positive” for the station, which was up 14 per cent year-on-year in terms of overall viewership in October after a 10 per cent dip in August, attributed to the absence of soap operas Emmerdale and Coronation Street.
“That’s a higher share than any of the All-Ireland finals this year,” he said.
The biggest match not involving Ireland or a home nation was the New Zealand versus France quarter final, which had an average of 580,000 viewers.
The final had an average audience of 528,000 viewers, while more than 900,000 tuned in at some point. The station’s total Rugby World Cup viewership was 3.4 million.
It’s understood the broadcaster enjoyed a boost in advertising revenue in the region of 20 per cent during the World Cup period. The increase came in the form of direct and indirect revenues and was worth in the region of €5 million to the station.
The first ad broadcast at the full-time whistle of the Ireland-France game was a 30-second EBS slot which reached 1.4 million viewers.