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Grand Slam decider the most-watched sporting event on Irish TV in 2018

Sport dominates new TV viewing figures released today.

SIX OF THE most-watched programmes on Irish television last year were sporting events, with the national rugby team delivering bumper viewing figures for RTÉ and Virgin Media throughout the course of a historic 2018.

Ireland’s Grand Slam decider against England last March was the most-watched sporting event of the year, and the second most-watched TV programme of 2018 behind The Late Late Toy Show. 

Conor Murray, Rob Kearney, Dan Leavy, Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose celebrate winning Ireland clinched the Grand Slam at Twickenham. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

An average audience of 975,600 tuned in as Joe Schmidt’s side beat England at Twickenham on Virgin Media, while the famous home win over the All Blacks in November attracted an Irish TV audience of 926,000, according to official figures released today. 

Overall, Schmidt’s side helped Irish rugby dominate the TAM figures, with the men’s senior team appearing eight times in the top 50 most-watched TV programmes in 2018. 

Commenting on the figures, IRFU communications director Stephen McNamara said: “We are delighted to see so many people tuning in to support Ireland on these great sporting occasions. Live sport is now almost unique in that it continues to deliver events that can still bring family and friends together to watch live.” 

The World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia ranks fourth in the overall list as 924,400 tuned into RTÉ’s coverage from Russia, while the All-Ireland senior football [841,100] and hurling finals [854,400] also appear in the top 10. 

Screen Shot 2019-01-10 at 16.58.07 Source: TAM Ireland

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Ryan Bailey

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