Six Nations helps TV3 viewership surge but 'Ireland’s Got Talent' disappoints

Some 647,000 tuned into Ireland-Wales game giving TV3 audience share of 64%

TV3 has continued to build both viewers and audience share on aspects of its Saturday schedule as coverage of the Six Nations competition performs well for the group.

Last weekend, an average audience of 647,000 people tuned in to see Ireland beat Wales by 37 points to 27 in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. That gave TV3 an audience share of 64 per cent, which is higher than RTÉ's best-performing match last year in terms of audience share despite viewership not performing as strongly.

TV3 Group snatched the rights from RTÉ for 2018-2021 in a deal with the Six Nations Council announced in November 2015. RTÉ was unable to match the size of the offer made by TV3, which was in the process of being acquired by Virgin Media Ireland at the time.

Last year, RTÉ's coverage of the Six Nations held the seventh, eighth, ninth and 20th spots in the most-viewed programmes of the year. The most-viewed Six Nations match in Ireland last year was against France when more than 825,500 people tuned in. This represented an audience share of 63.2 per cent. Wales v Ireland was the second most watched Six Nations fixture last year, attracting 816,500 viewers with a 50.82 per cent share.


Tuned in

The numbers tuning in to TV3’s coverage are increasing considering, in the first week of the competition, 571,500 people tuned in to see Ireland edge out a win against France. That game attracted an audience share of 48.71 per cent.

While Six Nations numbers are on the up, the audience tuning into Ireland's Got Talent is decreasing. An average of 335,000 viewers watched the talent programme last Saturday, which gave TV3 a 25 per cent share of viewing. That was down from an average of 469,200 in its first week when it commanded a 35.1 per cent audience share.

The top 20 programmes in Ireland last year were all on RTÉ and TV3 will be hoping that success with the Six Nations will help it penetrate that list as viewers stick with the channel to see more of its output on a day where it hasn’t typically performed as well as its rival.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business