Due to a short lapse in brain-functionality late last year as we dreamed of festive leisure, we made a bit of a whoopsie in the Jan/Feb edition of NZ Marketing by mistakenly running a graph that had featured in the previous issue. The graph was meant to show Nielsen's TAM statistics about the huge number of New Zealanders who watched RWC games but, because of our error, it obviously made no sense at all and caused a fair bit of confusion. We apologise to all those who were befuddled by it. Here's the correct graph, with the original story from Nielsen's Caroline Atford.
Throughout the tournament, supporters and newfound fans of the 20 national teams competing for the holy grail of international rugby remained glued to their screens, generating unprecedented television viewing levels.
With 80 nations competing in qualifiers over three years for 20 spots, the Rugby World Cup tournament is the third biggest international sporting events after the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup. When New Zealand hosted the 2011 tournament over September and October, the attraction of this event became evident from the extraordinary live televised audience viewing results measured by Nielsen. In fact, if we didn’t realise how much national support was behind the All Blacks or clear evidence that Kiwis really take their rugby very seriously, this top live television viewing events summary confirmed it all.
To establish live television viewing audiences of all people 5 years plus across the highest live audience viewing events in the 2011 World Cup, our TAM audience team conducted post analysis across all 48 of the matches together with the opening and closing ceremonies. The country turned on a perfect day for the opening ceremony which attracted an impressive 82 percent share of television viewing. This was followed by the inaugural match of the tournament, between the All Blacks and Tonga with the massive audience lifting to 84 percent of all television viewers. The outstanding audience results for the opening stanza of the World Cup illustrates the power of television in making such a wonderful event accessible to sports and special events fans right across the country.
The top six television audience share events at the tournament all attracted above 80 percent share with two matches achieving over 90 percent share of viewing. These were the New Zealand versus Australia semi-final, with 92 percent share; and the New Zealand versus France final, which achieved 93 percent share, to become the largest ever live audience to view a televised event in New Zealand’s broadcast history. Worthy of note, though not surprising, the All Blacks were competing in each of the top four viewed matches of the tournament.