ITV nets 7.1m viewers as Ireland stop English 'grand slam'
ITV, the UK commercial broadcaster, pulled in over 7 million viewers for England’s defeat to Ireland in the final match of rugby union’s Six Nations this year.
An average ITV1 audience of 7.1 million, a 39-per-cent viewing share, saw Ireland hold on to beat England 13-9 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday evening.
The number of viewers peaked at 8.6 million on Saturday as a try by Iain Henderson (pictured, bottom) helped Ireland stop England winning a ‘grand slam’ crown to sit alongside the Six Nations title already wrapped up one week prior. England were also looking to surpass New Zealand's record with a 19th top-tier match victory.
The average audience marked a rise on ITV's figures during the penultimate round of matches, when 6.5 million watched England cruise to a 61-21 victory over Scotland.
The BBC, the public-service broadcaster, netted an average of 3 million viewers for its coverage of Scotland’s emphatic 29-0 victory over Italy on BBC One at Saturday lunchtime, a 33-per-cent share, with an audience peak of 3.5 million.
The day’s late afternoon match between France and Wales was watched by an average audience of 4.1 million on the same channel, gaining a 33.8-per-cent share. Coverage of France’s 20-18 victory peaked with 5.3 million viewers.
The BBC averaged 4.7 million for its television coverage across the whole of the Six Nations tournament, despite only televising one of England’s matches live, a game against Wales which drew an average audience of 6.4 million.
In France, an average of 4.1 million viewers (a 33-per-cent share), and peak audience of 5.4 million, watched the national team pull off a win in its last match of the tournament on France Télévisions, the public-service broadcaster.