The Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup semi-final against the All Blacks has delivered another massive television audience with figures released today showing a record 1.97 million New Zealanders tuned in to watch the trans-Tasman clash on Sunday evening.
The huge New Zealand ratings came on top of the massive Australian television audience of 3.234 million people that smashed the all-time Pay TV viewership record for Fox Sports and topped the free-to-air ratings on Channel Nine.
In total 5.2 million people across the two Rugby proud nations tuned in to watch the All Blacks progress to their first Rugby World Cup Final since 1995.
Almost one-in-two New Zealanders were watching Sunday night’s semi-final on television, while around one-in-five people across Australia and New Zealand had their televisions switched on to the traditional trans-Tasman battle. The overall number across both countries does NOT take into account those viewing out of home at pubs, clubs or live site venues.
In Australia Channel Nine’s free-to-air broadcast attracted 1.788 million people across the five capital cities with the match being the most watched program in Sydney (710,000), Brisbane (409,000) and Melbourne (376,000) and the second most watched in Adelaide (141,000).
Regionally the trans-Tasman clash also attracted strong numbers with 727,000 tuning to watch the host nation progress to next Sunday’s final against France.
The semi-final was also the most watched program in Australian subscription television history.
Fox Sports’ coverage of the Wallabies v All Blacks Rugby World Cup semi-final attracted a record 719,000 viewers. The previous record was 531,000 for this year’s Super Rugby final between the Reds and Crusaders in Brisbane.
The audience on Sunday night surpassed that number by almost 40%.
Rugby has enjoyed strong television ratings in 2011 with the game now holding down the top four most watched programs in subscription television history – and all four programs are live broadcasts of matches played this year.
Sunday night’s semi-final, the 2011 Super Rugby final, the Wallabies Rugby World Cup quarter-final against the Springboks last week and this year’s Bledisloe Cup and Tri Nations showdown with the All Blacks in Brisbane now hold positions No.1 to No.4 on the all-time subscription television ratings.