Tuesday 16 January 2018

Revealed: The top 20 most watched programmes on TV in Ireland last year

Kyle Carty, age 7, from Collinstown, Co. Westmeath pictured on the RTE One Late Late Toy Show 2017, demonstrating toys with presenter Ryan Tubridy. Picture Andres Poveda / RTE
Kyle Carty, age 7, from Collinstown, Co. Westmeath pictured on the RTE One Late Late Toy Show 2017, demonstrating toys with presenter Ryan Tubridy. Picture Andres Poveda / RTE
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The top 20 most watched programmes on Irish TV last year have been revealed with the latest TAM Ireland/Nielsen ratings.

Once again the Late Late Toy Show topped the list as the most popular programme of the year,drawing a huge average audience of 1.35m and a 70 per cent share of the audience on the night of December 1.

All 20 of the most watched programmes came courtesy of RTE One and RTE2 despite competition from 800 channels including TV3 in Ireland and the UK and beyond.

Sport accounted for 11 of the top 20 programmes including the All-Ireland Football final on RTÉ2, featuring Dublin versus Mayo in September which was the second most-watched of the year.

This was followed by the Euro qualifier play-off against Denmark in third, the All Ireland Hurling final featuring Galway v Waterford in fourth, and the Wales v Ireland World Cup qualifier in fifth place, all on RTE2.  Also on RTE2, the live All Ireland Senior Football semi-final between Kerry and Mayo drew an audience of 731,000 and was the 12th most-watched programme of the year.

During Storm Ophelia in October, Irish viewers turned to RTÉ News from the time the Status Red warning was given ahead of the Nine O’Clock News on Sunday 15 October making it the sixth most watched programme of the year and most watched news bulletin of 2017 with 846,000 viewers.

Large audiences continued to watch the extensive coverage from reporters across the country and live updates from Met Éireann throughout the next day with extended One O’Clock and Six One News programmes on 16 October.  They were the 15th and 13th most-watched respectively.

The RBS Six Nations, which aired for the last time on RTE last year before it hits TV3 for four years from February 3, held four of the top 20 spots, including 7th, 8th, 9th and 20th place.

Two episodes of Mrs Brown’s Boys, one of which was the Christmas special unveiling the new ‘Rory’, came in at 10th and 11th on the list.

An Audience of 703,000 tuned in to the most popular episode of Sunday night favourite Room to Improve, hosted by Dermot Bannon while the Late Late Show Country Music Special was a hit in April with 690,000 viewers and a 50 per cent audience share.

The highest audience for Dancing with the Stars was for the first elimination show and was watched by fewer people than Room to Improve or the Country Special, coming in at an impressive 664,000.

The official TAM Ireland/Nielsen figures for 2017 also show that TV viewing continues to dominate our leisure time with the average Irish adult watching 3 hours and 13 minutes of TV daily and 89 per cent of that is watched live.

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