The Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry broadcast on the 8th of March was most watched television programme in Ireland this year with almost 800,000 people tuning in

  • Streaming levels remain higher than pre-Covid averages, between 47% – 140% depending on the player
  • Six Nations dominates TV viewing with four matches in the Top 10 most watched programmes of the first half of 2021 with an average viewership of almost 700,000

Weekly admissions to the cinema have grown to over 220,000 in the first week of July, with Irish movie goers returning to cinemas after a long absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On TV, Ireland’s Six Nations campaign dominated Irish screens in the first half of 2021 with four matches featuring in the list of the top ten most watched programmes. However, though Irish rugby action averaged nearly 700,000 viewers, it was RTE2’s broadcasting of Oprah’s Interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that was the most watched programme in Ireland so far this year with nearly 800,000 viewers.

Compared to the first half of 2019, streams on RTE Player have risen 47% in 2021, though this figure is down marginally (11%) compared to 2020. Sport led this market once more with over 1.6 million streams of the EURO 2020 on the RTE Player in June. Having only started on June 28, Love Island was already the most streamed programme on Virgin Media in by June 30th.

Online conversation, meanwhile, has been dominated by Covid-19 and nearly 500,000 mentions of the ‘Third Wave’ in January was the hottest topic. Online searches were more varied with the following being the items most researched:

  • Around 500,000 searches for Danish footballer Christian Eriksen who collapsed during a EURO 2020 match in June
  • Former US President Donald Trump had the most searches in January with around 200,000 while the return of Penney’s in May had around 200,000 searching for an appointment at the retailer

Speaking about these findings, Colm Sherwin, Managing Director, Core Investment:

“This report has revealed some great insights into how the Irish public has consumed media over such a changing period in Irish history. Though the advent of streaming was obviously picked up during restrictions, it has clearly stayed with Irish viewers compared to figures in 2019. While it’s not overly surprising that the online conversation has been dominated by Covid-19, it is great to see Ireland’s passion for sport and entertainment hasn’t faltered with major tournaments dominating TV screens.”

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Notes to Editor:

Core Research is part of Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company. Core employs a team of 330 people and consists of eight practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Research, Sponsorship and Strategy.