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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 21 February, 2019

TV3 may have had Martin O'Neill on their team, but RTÉ still beat them in the ratings battle for Euro 2016

An average of 782,100 viewers tuned into RTÉ2, compared to an average of 116,000 on TV3.

Portugal's Eder, second from the right, scores the winning goal past French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Portugal's Eder, second from the right, scores the winning goal past French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Image: Martin Meissner/PA

THE FINAL OF Euro 2016 saw established favourites France halted by the unfancied Portugal, but the viewing figures saw RTE well ahead.

Sunday’s Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal saw an average of 782,100 viewers tune into RTÉ2 – with a share of 46% of those watching television at the time tuning in.

The figure peaked at 925,700 in extra time as Eder fired Portugal – shorn of the injured Cristiano Ronaldo – to a historic win.

Match ratings on TV3 said the final averaged 116,000 on TV3 and reached a sizeable 461,000 overall for the final, partly thanks to drafting in Ireland manager Martin O’Neill as a late substitution.

Ratings winner

Although they trailed RTE in the final, Euro 2016 has been a ratings winner for TV3, with overall viewing figures close to 3 million people.

The three most popular games on TV3 were the England-Russia match, the quarter-final between Poland and Portugal and the clash between Wales and Belgium, arguably the game of the tournament.

Some 1.1 million viewers (32% share) tuned into the first match, 1.02 million (35% share) to the second and 931k viewers (32% share) to the third.

Those TV3 figures do not include those who tuned in online, where received a total of 312,319 streams across all of the matches.

The top three matches for streaming were Poland-Portugal, Wales-Belgium, and Italy-Spain.

A spokeswoman for TV3 said streaming figures of over 30,000 were beyond expectation for a match not involving Ireland, compared with 55,000 streams for the Rugby World Cup match between Ireland and France, or 2-3,000 streams for Big Brother.

Soccer Euro 2016 Portugal France Supporters of Portugal celebrate their team's 1-0 win over France on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. Source: Francois Mori/PA


There were 94,100 live streams for the final on RTÉ Player, with Ireland’s opening match against Sweden the most popular game with 131,950 streams.

All the 10 top-rating games from UEFA EURO 2016 were broadcast on RTÉ2.

RTÉ had the rights to the finals, but sub-licensed 22 of the 51 games to TV3.

Montrose held on to Ireland’s three games in Group E and also retained first choice on games in the knockout stages of the competition.

TV3 showed 16 of the 36 matches in the group stages, including Northern Ireland’s meeting with Ukraine and England’s games against Russia and Slovakia.

TV3 also showed three of the eight last-16 games, plus two quarter-finals, and the final.

Ireland’s defeat to France, which saw the hosts 1-0 down to the Boys In Green at half-time, was the highest-rating match on RTE, with an average of 1.26 million viewers and 83% of the available audience.

RTÉ Player attracted 2 million streams of Euro 2016 coverage.

Read: RTÉ bids farewell to Ireland’s ‘greatest football man’ John Giles

Read: They’ve had a tough few months – so it’s no surprise Icelanders are losing their minds a little

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