TV3 group won the Irish broadcasting rights to the Rugby World Cup 17 months ago & for some RTE loyalists this was a bit of a missed tackle. TV3’s coverage is anchored by Today FM’s Matt Cooper, with panellists including Keith Wood, Matt Williams, Peter Stringer and Hugo Mac Neill. Stuart Barnes, Conor McNamara and Liam Toland are among those doing the commentary.
This formula proved a huge success as Saturday’s Ireland v Canada rugby world cup, which raked in more than one million (1,013,800) viewers for TV3. The match itself peaked at 706,000 viewers as the game came to a close & with Ireland’s three subsequent pool games all taking place at a more TV-friendly time on Sundays evenings TV3 would hope that the viewers continue to drive to the line.
Although the tournament is a loss leader for TV3 they sold over €5 million worth of advertising time, charging €150,000 a throw for the top-tier packages that give advertisers 18 premium 30-second spots before the whistle and during half-time.
“It is much more about it being a brand-defining event for us,” said Pat Kiely – TV3 Sales Director
AIB’s GAA TV ad was a standout performer reaching the highest number of viewers 614,000 during TV3’s Ireland v Canada coverage in its very own solus break just before coverage returned for the second half.
In terms of viewership figures, the first three days of Rugby World Cup 2015 were a big success as more than 2.2 million people tuned in to TV3’s coverage. Other games responsible for bringing in high ratings for the station, include Japan’s shock victory over South Africa, the opening ceremony and England’s opening match against Fiji.
TV3’s newly re-launched 3player also had a significant impact on viewing figures for the weekend’s RWC coverage, with more than 110,000 streams over the course of the three days. Ireland v Canada had 38,000 streams alone.
So, will the tournament be a ratings winner for TV3 & will its coverage measure up? It really depends on how Ireland progress in the tournament. If the national team fails to reach the latter stages, it may turn out to be a bad bet for TV3, and the ratings would sharply decline.
Stay tuned for more facts & figures from Jason Kavanagh & the Core Media TV dept.