Viewing figures for International Rules don't make for good reading 2 years ago

Viewing figures for International Rules don't make for good reading

It was a bumper day for Irish sport.

There's always one day every few years in sport that has the nation planted in front of the TV.

Two years ago in 2015, it was the day Ireland played France in the Rugby World Cup followed by Republic of Ireland against Poland in a crucial Euro 2016 qualifier.

This year we had Ireland's drubbing of South Africa followed by the dull stalemate over in Copenhagen.

A lot of people viewed them, an average of 631,100 were tuned in for the rugby followed by 848,000 for the football.

That's all well and good but there was also the International Rules in the early hours of Sunday morning where an average of 39,600 viewers were tuned in to see Ireland lose by 10 in Australia.

You can't blame RTÉ for this, they're only the broadcasters but you'd wonder how it would be seen as a good idea to attract Irish interest with a throw-in time that early.

At the launch of the International Rules, there was emphasis put on how the series was back to two tests and there was genuine hope the respect and prestige for the series that had been lost a little along the way would come back. GAA is now bigger and more accessible than ever and this was another great chance to showcase the very best of it with the very best of players all playing together - for Ireland.

And then the match is broadcast in the early hours of the morning when they only have two countries to cater for.

Nobody wants to get up at five in the morning on a Sunday. Of the two audiences that were going to watch the game, one of them has nearly been entirely cut out.

However, this weekend will be more accessible with throw-in at 8:45 am as Ireland look to retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup with just 10 points between them.

Expect there to be a much larger figure tuning in this time around.