The omens are good so far for audience numbers for the Rugby World Cup, with Ireland’s first two pool games in the tournament raking in viewers for TV3 while, in the UK, ITV’s coverage of England v Wales on Saturday night destroyed the BBC’s audience for Doctor Who.
An average of 586,000 people watched Ireland v Canada on TV3, with a peak of 706,000 at the final whistle, while an average of 758,800 tuned in for Sunday afternoon’s game against Romania.
The pull of games that don’t involve Ireland looks healthy, too, with England’s defeat to Wales on Saturday night drawing an average of 519,000 on TV3.
On RTÉ One, The Ray D’Arcy Show drew 468,500 viewers, below the average achieved by Brendan O’Connor in his last run in the same slot.
The sporting competition may have been a factor. D’Arcy’s chat show debut got under way (with a rugby player, Donncha O’Callaghan, as its first guest) while the Welsh were just beginning to celebrate their victory over on TV3.
In the UK, ITV won an audience of more than 10 million for England v Wales, which meant a predictable ratings extermination for the Daleks, with the BBC’s overlapping second episode in a Doctor Who two-part story attracting just 3.7 million viewers overnight – the lowest since the series was rebooted in 2005.
The sci-fi series typically does well on catch-up and iPlayer, meaning its total audience will swell, but the figures are another pointer to the ratings supremacy of live events.
Source: Irish Times