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Victory over All Blacks marginally pips Portugal's Aviva visit as most watched sporting event of week

Andy Farrell’s men drew an average of 686,000 viewers to RTÉ2 for their victory over New Zealand, with just 9,000 fewer tuning in for the football on Thursday.

Caelan Doris celebrating Ireland's victory over New Zealand.
Caelan Doris celebrating Ireland's victory over New Zealand.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

THE IRELAND RUGBY team’s sensational victory over New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and the national football team’s 0-0 draw with Portugal at the same ground two days prior drew almost identical average audiences for RTÉ on what was a bumper week of international sport.

Andy Farrell’s men drew an average of 686,000 viewers to RTÉ2 — a share of 66% of those watching TV at the time — with a peak viewership of 854,000 at 5:15pm as the All Blacks fell on Irish soil for only the second time. Incidentally, that average figure is down almost 200,000 on its equivalent during Ireland’s last win over the Kiwis at the Aviva in 2018, but down just 80,000 on the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final exit versus the same opposition.

On Thursday night, an average of 677,000 were watching RTÉ2 as Stephen Kenny’s Boys in Green impressed against Cristiano Ronaldo and co, earning a 49% share of all viewers at the time with a higher peak audience than the rugby — 905,000 — as the World Cup qualifier reached its conclusion at 9:38pm.

Last night’s 3-0 victory away to Luxembourg attracted an average of 499,000 viewers, a share of 36% of all TV watchers at the time. Viewing peaked at 646,000 at 21.28. again towards the end of the game.

After Saturday’s rugby, an average audience of 152,000 remained for Kilmacud Crokes’ extra-time comeback win over Na Fianna in the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship final (a 14% share).

The Ireland U21s’ Friday defeat to Italy was watched by 71,000 people on average (8%). Sunday’s horse racing from Navan, meanwhile, had an average of 33,000 viewers (7%).

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On the RTÉ Player, Ireland-Portugal attracted 66,300 streamers, the highest number for a football international in 2021. Luxembourg-Ireland was streamed 44,700 times.

Ireland-All Blacks was the RTÉ Player’s most streamed rugby match since the 2019 World Cup, meanwhile, with 109,000 tuning into the game online.

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