Rugby takes top billing in most watched Irish sporting events of 2018
Ireland's Grand Slam win over England on St. Patrick's Day was the most watched sporting event with an audience in excess of 975,000 viewers.
The Grand Slam win at Twickenham edged out Ireland's November win over New Zealand as the most watched sporting event with England's semi-final loss to Croatia registering as the third most watched sporting event of last year.
Sport dominated the most watched programmes with 10 entries inside the top 20 with rugby boasting four entries, the football World Cup registering four matches and the GAA's All-Ireland finals both making the top 10 but missing out on the top five most watched shows of last year.
Sport was a big winner this year again accounting for more than half of the top 50 programmes of the year and Jill McGrath from TAM Ireland claiming that the success of the rugby team was the main driver in its rise to the top and that the Rugby World Cup should rank highly on next year's ratings.
"The great thing about tv is the ability to show live sporting events and it registers with the general viewer," McGrath told SportsJOE.
"I don't think it's unique to Ireland it's more to do with tv but the success of the team this year certainly had a big impact on rugby doing so well with viewers.
"A lot of this year with rugby will depend on how Ireland fare at that tournament and the longer we stay in the more excited we become as a country.
"Fans were very engaged with rugby last year and if the team do well that should translate with viewers."