French TV registers a bump in viewer numbers

Six Nations Television Audience

In the second week of the Six Nations, reports in France noted a bump in number of television viewers there for les Bleus Test match against Ireland. According to reports, Sunday’s broadcast on France 2 attracted an average of 5.86 million viewers for 37.3% of audience share – the best television audience for a Six Nations match since 2014.

During the first round of the Six Nations, when France defeated Italy, it was reported that the broadcast delivered  an average of 4.11 million viewers on France 2, too.

Related: France win in Dublin for first time since 2011

There were also some eye-catching numbers on viewing figures coming out of the first round of the Six Nations. Check out this tweet from ITV presenter Mark Pougatch.

As Pougatch said in the wake of Scotland’s seismic Calcutta Cup victory: “Huge figures for England-Scotland 6 Nations Rugby (on ITV), a peak of 8.4 million. BBC have Wales-Ireland today, (ITV) showing racing from Leopardstown & Channel 4 England’s cricket in India. The demand & more importantly reach of sport on free-to-air is undoubtedly massive.”

The Scottish arm of the broadcaster also had this to say, below.

Describing it as record numbers, their graphic says: “Scotland’s victory over England was the best watched match ever on STV – with a share of 52% and a peak audience of 1.2m.”

As it stands there is a lot of uncertainty over the next television deal for the Six Nations, following this year. The whole sport is waiting to see if the next deal will keep the tournament on free-to-air, or will go onto a streaming platform, as the Autumn Nations Cup did with Amazon Prime.

Before the tournament started, Six Nations CEO Ben Morel said of considerations in future deals: “Reaching out to new audiences, whether globally or in our domestic market, and younger audiences is a key way (to aid growth) and improve our overall game presentation.

“The women’s game is also a big focus and there is a lot of growth on the women’s game either. It is that combination of bringing in more expertise, focusing on innovation and putting the women’s game as a standalone pillar of our growth will enable us to deliver.”

Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.