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News : International Last Updated: Dec 19th, 2007 - 13:17:15


Initiative’s latest ViewerTrack™ study shows that in Ireland GAA and soccer still dominate the sporting arena, while globally the Superbowl was the most watched sporting event of 2005
By Finfacts Team
Jan 4, 2006, 17:15

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Without a major sporting event, 2005 was a relatively quiet sporting year globally. In Ireland, the year was dominated by our unsuccessful bid for a place in the 2006 World Cup Finals.

 

The most watched sporting event of the year was the All-Ireland Senior Football Final between Tyrone and Kerry in September.  In a rather unspectacular year in GAA, both All-Ireland finals in hurling and football managed to increase their viewing figures on 2004.  Ireland’s bid for a place in the world cup was also a big hit with viewers. Five of the top ten overall sporting events for 2005 were world cup qualifiers. Ireland’s final bid for a place in the world cup in October against Switzerland was watched by 20% of the population, making it the second most watched sporting event of the year, and the seventh most watched overall TV programme in Ireland in 2005.

 

Top TV Sporting Events Ireland 2005

Rank

Programme Name

Chn

Date

TVR

000s

Share

1

All-Ireland Senior Football Final - Kerry v Tyrone

RTE2     

25-Sep

23.2

887

73.2

2

World Cup Qualifier - Ireland v Switzerland

RTE2     

12-Oct

20.1

769

50

3

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final - Cork v Galway

RTE2     

11-Sep

19.0

726

73.5

4

Six Nations Rugby - Ireland v England

RTE2     

27-Feb

14.7

551

54.8

5

Champion's League Final - Liverpool v AC Milan

RTE2     

25-May

11.5

433

32.1

6

International Rugby - Ireland v New Zealand

RTE2     

12-Nov

8.5

326

46.3

7

FA Cup - Everton v Man Utd.

BBC1     

19-Feb

8.1

304

30.4

8

The Premiership Live - Man Utd v Aston Villa

RTE2     

22-Jan

6.7

252

38.7

9

Heineken Cup Rugby - Munster v Castres Olympiques

RTE2     

29-Oct

6.5

247

24.2

10

UEFA Super Cup Final - Liverpool v CSKA Moskow

RTE2     

26-Aug

5.3

201

18.7

Source: Nielsen Media Research, Top Progs, Best Episode

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of the top overall TV sporting events, five were for world cup qualifiers, four for the GAA All-Ireland championships and one for Six Nations Rugby. However, when we take the most watched event of each sporting competition, we see the Irish sporting arena dominated by the four primary sports – GAA football and hurling, soccer and rugby. With GAA and rugby, Irish people are attracted to the local hero element, tuning in to support their county, provincial or national team, while in soccer, excluding our bid for the world cup, matches featuring top English clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United come out tops.

 

Globally, the most watched TV sporting event of 2005 was the Super Bowl, with a live global cumulative audience of 93 million viewers, however 92% of these viewers were in the US, putting into question the notion of it being a “global event”. In Ireland, 12,000 viewers tuned into the event. The second most watched global sporting event was the UEFA Champion’s League Final between Liverpool and AC Milan, which was watched by 73 million people, and had a truly global spread of viewers, emerging as the most “global” of all the sporting events surveyed by Initiative Viewertrack™.  The match was the fifth biggest sporting event on Irish TV, being watched by 433,000 people.

 

Top TV Sporting Events Globally 2005

Rank

Sport

Event

Date

Global 000s

Irish 000s

1

American Football

Superbowl: New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles

06-Feb

86,000

12

2

Soccer

Champions League Final: Liverpool v AC Milan

25-May

73,000

433

3

Formula 1

Canadian Grand Prix

12-Jun

51,000

55

4

Athletics

Men's World 100 Metres Final

07-Aug

23,000

39

5

Baseball

World Series: Chicago White Sox v Houston Astros

26-Oct

22,000

 

6

Basketball

NBA Finals - Game 7: San Antonio v Detroit Pistons

23-Jun

20,000

2

7

Golf

US Masters Final Day

10-Apr

20,000

77

8

Cycling

Tour de France Final Stage

24-Jul

16,000

19

9

Tennis

Wimbledon Men's Singles Final: Federer v Roddick

03-Jul

12,000

87

10

Olympics

2012 Summer Games Decision

06-Jul

11,000

36

Source: Initaitive Futures Viewertrack

 

 

 

 

One of the main reasons why Initiative conducts Viewertrack™ analyses is to provide more accurate figures regarding the number of people tuning into global sporting events. The measured audience can differ greatly from the claimed audience, for example UEFA claimed that 200 million people watched the Champion’s League final, almost triple the measured TV audience.

 

While the global variety of sporting events unleashes many opportunities for global advertisers and sponsors, the same chances do not exist for Irish advertisers. As we can see Irish sport is dominated by four field games, each targeting a specific type of sports fan, although the boundaries are narrowing. As “event viewing” grows on TV, these must watch sports matches will increase in importance. Luckily for advertisers, sponsorship is not as tightly regulated in Irish sports such as the GAA as in other markets, although this too will change in the coming years. TV sponsorship of sports events is highly coveted, and RTÉ, who broadcast nine of the top ten sporting events on Irish TV have the monopoly and are taking full advantage of this with a range of sponsorship opportunities for advertisers.

 

Other sports popular with Irish TV viewers that didn’t feature in the top ten include horse racing, snooker and greyhound racing.


© Copyright 2007 by Finfacts.com

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