Incredible stat emerges from the Rugby World Cup in France

Record breaking.

World Rugby have announced that the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France was the most-viewed rugby event of all time, further cementing its record-breaking legacy.

France 2023 achieved 1.33 billion viewing hours (VH) across all programming on linear and non-linear broadcast, making it 30 per cent more viewed than England 2015 as the last Rugby World Cup in the northern hemisphere (1.01bn VH) and 19 per cent more viewed than Japan 2019 (1.11bn VH).

The growth in men’s Rugby World Cup viewership is a testimony to the tournament’s popularity and relevance in a highly competitive global entertainment market. Hosts France recorded the highest viewership worldwide with 481 million VH despite the national team’s exit at the quarter-final stage.

Eight of the 11 markets[1] surveyed saw strong viewership growth since 2015 despite a general decline in linear TV globally and an accrued competition in the entertainment offering.

The United Kingdom’s viewership came close to breaking the 2015 record (361m) when England hosted RWC 2015, which is an impressive result considering overall linear TV viewership in the UK was down by 27 per cent over the same period[2].

Growing viewership has also been observed in rugby’s emerging markets like Germany (15.2m VH), Italy (16.1m VH) and USA (11.1m VH) where rugby’s popularity is soaring with a +27, +70 and +136 per cent respectively versus RWC 2015.

The RWC final between South Africa and New Zealand achieved the highest viewing hours of any match globally, with 94m VH, followed by the France v South Africa quarter-final with 69m VH.​

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