Six Nations Pulls Record Average Audience of 4.4m

March 22, 2011

BBC Sport has revealed that this year’s international rugby union Six Nations Championship has delivered record audience viewing figures, with an average of 4.6m viewers watching live coverage during the tournament.

The figure beats the previous best of an average of 4.4m viewers for the 2009 tournament and is the best live match average since the Six Nations began in 2000.

The championship this year, which concluded on Saturday March 19, saw peaks of 9.6m for England v France, 8.2m for Wales v England, and 8.0m for England v Scotland – as well as an average audience share of 27 per cent.

Philip Bernie, head of BBC TV Sport said: “We’re delighted that record numbers of viewers have come to watch our live coverage of this wonderful championship, which is clearly enjoyed by such large numbers of BBC viewers across all four home nations”.

England were crowned Six Nations champions despite being denied a Grand Slam campaign after Ireland ran rampant against a sloppy English back line to win 24-8. 

Despite a historic victory over France earlier in the competition, Italy again picked up the wooden spoon following defeat to Scotland in the bottom-of-the-league decider at the weekend.  

The tournament will no doubt prove a good warm up event as all six teams work towards the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, later this year.