Sport Rugby

Tuesday 23 January 2018

ROG documentary gives RTE their highest Christmas ratings

Ronan O'Gara and with his son, Rua
Ronan O'Gara and with his son, Rua
Laura Butler

Laura Butler

THE documentary offering an insight into rugby player Ronan O’Gara’s career was one of the most popular programmes on RTE over the Christmas period.

An average of 595,000 people tuned in to watch ‘ROG: The Ronan O’Gara Documentary’ when it aired on January 2.

It pulled in a higher audience than the final ‘Late Late Show’ of 2013, which had an average of 517,000 viewers, as well as beating the last in the latest series of ‘Room To Improve’, which attracted an audience of 493,000.

The documentary was also the most watched programme on the RTE Player for four days, 65,800 views in total. 

“Not all of the viewing figures for the Christmas period are in yet due to weather issues, but at the moment it ranked the fifth most watched programme over the entire Christmas, with only the ‘Mrs Brown Boys’ Christmas special and news bulletins at 6pm and 9pm ahead of it, so a hugely popular programme,” an RTE spokesperson told the Irish Independent.

‘ROG: The Ronan O’Gara Documentary’ was over four years in the making and chronicled the 36-year-old’s journey on the field from 2009 to his last game for province and country in 2013.

It provided fans with unprecedented access to the British and Irish Lion at crucial moments in the latter years of his life as an international. 

Over 70 minutes, Racing Metro 92 coach O’Gara spoke about the turbulent beginning to his relationship with out-half rival Jonathan Sexton and the emotion he felt after being the only player to be dropped by Declan Kidney from the Ireland team after a particularly bad outing against France in 2010.

Viewers saw the father-of-four open up on his need to win and his raging desire not let down his team mates, as well as talk about walking away from the sport after Munster’s 2011 exit from the Heineken Cup at the pool stage for the first time in over a decade.

Katie Taylor was among the viewers and told the Irish Independent that she was enthralled by the documentary.

“I’m not a big rugby fan but I watched it and it was amazing to see his mindset, it was very honest.

“You could see the ups and downs of an athlete’s career, it was very real,” she said. 

The Bray-based Olympic gold medallist said that she admired O’Gara for giving the cameras access to his family life during the four-year filming process, but that she would find it difficult to sanction invasion into her life outside the ring. 

“It must have been very intrusive and you really have to be open to that,” she said, speaking at the launch of AIB ‘Me2U’ app in Dublin yesterday.

“I’m not sure I would be the type of person that could do that. I’m quite private and my family is too, so I don’t think it would suit someone like me.”

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