More people in Ireland watched Portugal v Wales than any single rugby match in 2016 6 years ago

More people in Ireland watched Portugal v Wales than any single rugby match in 2016

Are you not entertained?

Rugby proved no match for football when it came to the Irish TV ratings in 2016.


Six different football matches pipped any rugby game in the most-watched programmes of the year with three GAA championship clashes ahead in the pecking order too.

The most-watched rugby game was Ireland v New Zealand - 683,000 people tuned in.

But they tuned in to the wrong bloody game.


Two weeks after Joe Schmidt's men beat the All Blacks in Chicago, the sport hit peak interest in the country for the calendar year with a record number of viewers watching the return game at the Aviva which the visitors won 21-9.

By contrast, almost 1.3million people watched Ireland v France in the second round of Euro 2016.

And that's just in the Republic.

There were two other rugby matches to feature in the top 20 - Ireland v France and Ireland v England in the Six Nations - but none of them hit the numbers that even Portugal v Wales did in the European Championships.


The Euro 2016 final was also ahead in the list, with almost 783,000 people watching Portugal beat France in Paris.

Nine sporting occasions made up the top 10 with only The Late Late Toy Show joining them - at the top of the list albeit.


Rugby was none of those nine.

Sporting events that trumped rugby on TV in 2016

  • Ireland v France (Euro 2016)
  • Ireland v Italy (Euro 2016)
  • Ireland v Sweden (Euro 2016)
  • Dublin v Mayo (All-Ireland SFC draw)
  • Ireland v Belgium (Euro 2016)
  • Dublin v Mayo (All-Ireland SFC replay)
  • Kilkenny v Tipperary (All-Ireland SHC)
  • Portugal v France (Euro 2016)
  • Portugal v Wales (Euro 2016)

Read the full list of the nation's favourite TV programmes below.


The Six Nations will be hoping to topple Room To Improve off its perch in 2017.

PS. Can people please stop watching Mrs Brown's Boys?