Record TV audience tunes into Rugby World Cup

Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 19-10-2011

Rugby World Cup Limited is delighted with television audience figures as the showcase event reaches its finale this weekend.
In New Zealand a record 1.97 million cumulative television audience tuned in to the host nation’s 20-6 semi-final victory over Australia via TV One, SKY, TV3 and Maori Television, not including the significant number who would have watched the compelling action in public venues across the country or online on demand. Australians also tuned into the match in record numbers. A nationwide television audience of 3.234 million people watched the match – breaking the all-time pay TV viewership record for Fox Sports and topping the free-to-air ratings on Channel Nine.
No rugby match since the Rugby World Cup Final in 2003 has delivered an audience of the same magnitude in Australia. The tournament decider in Sydney eight years ago was watched by more than 4 million Australians. Channel Nine’s free-to-air broadcast attracted 2.5 million viewers.
Rugby World Cup Limited chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby World Cup 2011 has been an exceptional event on and off the field and what we are seeing with the strong viewing figures is a reflection of the highly competitive and compelling matches and the tournament’s position as a truly major international event.
“The audience figures in New Zealand highlight the massive level of interest in what is the biggest event ever to be hosted in the country. Rugby World Cup 2011 has captured the hearts and minds of a nation who have been exceptionally welcoming hosts. The scene is now set for a thrilling climax to the tournament.”