Premiership Rugby breaks TV audience records at the end of an unforgettable season
June 23, 2022
Premiership Rugby can today confirm that the television coverage of Gallagher Premiership Rugby in 2021-22 has shattered previous audience records.
This year’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final was the most-watched Premiership Rugby match in our 25-year history, more than doubling the previous high for a Final, while previous season-long BT Sport records were also broken.
For the first time, the Final was broadcast on terrestrial television (ITV4) alongside the league’s long-term partner BT Sport. The game, won 15-12 by Leicester Tigers, was watched by an average audience on ITV4 of 597,000 (peaking at 831,000), and at the same time an average audience of 349,000, (peaking at 480,000) tuned into BT Sport, making it the most-watched Premiership Rugby match ever.
- The Final had an average audience of 946,000 (1.3 million peak) – 113% higher than the previous best for a Final in 2009
- Across 2021-22 live average audiences on BT Sport were up 21%, which is also 12% higher than the previous best in 2018-19
- A cumulative average audience of 14.5 million people watched live Gallagher Premiership Rugby on BT Sport and ITV in 2021-22
- A cumulative average audience of 3.2 million watched Gallagher Premiership Rugbyhighlights on ITV
- The 2021-22 season also marked the launch of PRTV Live where all Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches not on BT Sport or ITV were shown live, making every game accessible. The launch exceeded our expectations, and we can confirm it will be back for 2022-23 with plans for fans to be offered a new season ticket.
The Final also had an impressive audience share of 12.6%, across ITV and BT Sport, which means that one in eight people watching TV in the UK last Saturday afternoon were watching the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final.
Simon Massie-Taylor, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby said: “On the pitch, this Gallagher Premiership Rugby campaign has been unmissable, and to see that off the pitch records also fell shows we are taking significant steps towards our ambition of growing the game and reaching new fans.
“This season our live coverage on BT Sport and ITV was watched by a remarkable cumulative average audience of 14.5 million. We also brought back the popular weekly Sunday-night ITV highlights show and ensured all matches not screened live on BT Sport or ITV were accessible to fans on PRTV Live.
“Our vision for the Gallagher Premiership Final is to create a national sporting moment, and to do this we need to make it accessible to all. Achieving this record average audience has exceeded our original expectations and breaks all our previous records. The Final audience peaked at more than one million, which is a big step towards our goal and we thank BT Sport and ITV for making this possible.”
“The next Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final – on Saturday 27 May 2023 – is planned to be on the ITV main channel as well as BT Sport so we hope to break the record again, and to grow the club game further.”