TV & Radio

Friday 1 August 2014

Sadie O'Driscoll is star attraction on Saturday's game as ratings surge when BOD carries her on pitch

Kirsty Blake Knox

Published 11/03/2014|12:21

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8 March 2014; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll with his daughter Sadie after the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
8 March 2014; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll with his daughter Sadie after the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
8 March 2014; Brian O'Driscoll's wife Amy Huberman, with daughter Sadie, look on after the game with members of Brian O'Driscoll's family, from left, sister Susan Bradley, father Frank and mother Ger. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
8 March 2014; Brian O'Driscoll's wife Amy Huberman, with daughter Sadie, look on after the game with members of Brian O'Driscoll's family, from left, sister Susan Bradley, father Frank and mother Ger. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Sadie was the star of Saturday’s big game.

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Viewing figures for Saturday's Six Nations match peaked when Brian O'Driscoll walked onto the pitch with daughter Sadie in his arms.

The match, which saw Ireland thrash Italy 46-7, pulled in average viewing figures of 672,700 with a 57pc share.

But numbers surged to 876, 510 ten minutes after the game when Man of the Match O'Driscoll waved an emotional good bye to the crowd.

“Saturday ratings were unique,” a spokesperson for RTE explained. “Usually figures peak in the final few minutes of a match as people want to catch the final score.”

“But on Saturday figures peaked ten minutes after the final whistle. Viewers were tuning in specifically to watch Brian’s say goodbye.”

“It was a historic occasion. O’Driscoll waving good bye was definitely the big moment of the day.”

Brian O'Driscoll helped Ireland secure a convincing win over Italy
Brian O'Driscoll helped Ireland secure a convincing win over Italy
8 March 2014; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll, with his daughter Sadie, leave the pitch after the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
8 March 2014; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll, with his daughter Sadie, leave the pitch after the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 08: Paul O'Connell, Brian O'Driscoll and  Mike Ross of ireland sing the National Anthem during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy at Aviva Stadium on March 8, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Paul O'Connell, Brian O'Driscoll and Mike Ross of Ireland sing the National Anthem

Ireland’s defeat against England was the highest rating Six Nations match to date with an average of 869,800 tuning in and a peak of 995,800.

Ireland vs Wales was the second highest rating game with 713,600 tuning in while Ireland versus Scotland averaged 577,660 viewers.

“It will be interesting to see how the final clash in Paris rates. It’s an away game and O’Driscoll’s last ever match so we predict the ratings will be extremely strong,” the RTE spokesperson said.

Last Saturday’s match saw O'Driscoll's become the most capped player on the planet. Wife Amy Huberman cheered from the sidelines alongside Brian's father Frank and his mother Geraldine.

Before the match, Huberman took to twitter to wish her husband well. "Enjoy today," she wrote. "Your girls are very proud of you."

O'Driscoll left the pitch an hour into the game and was met with an uproarious cheer from the crowd. "I've been with Ireland my whole adult life and to leave here, is going to be hard," he said afterwards.

"It's a good way to leave it today and hopefully we set ourselves up for next week."

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