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Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie
off the scales

Ryan Tubridy's Public Accounts Committee appearance most viewed Oireachtas event ever

Before the RTÉ debacle made its way into the Houses of the Oireachtas, the John Delaney and FAI saga was one of the most viewed events on Oireachtas TV.

Ryan Tubridy’s appearance before the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday has clocked up the most views ever recorded for Oireachtas TV.

According to the Oireachtas press office, some 9,007,810 minutes of live streaming were served up from the hearing on Tuesday when Tubridy appeared alongside his agent Noel Kelly.

This figure, which represents the total cumulative minutes watched by all viewers, does not include the viewership for the Media Committee which the pair also appeared before later on the same day. 

Viewers tuned in to see how the pair would explain their involvement in the controversy that has engulfed RTÉ, with some pubs across the country even showing the proceedings for punters to enjoy over a pint. 

Camden Bar The Camden Bar EAMONN FARRELL / ROLLINGNEWS.IE EAMONN FARRELL / ROLLINGNEWS.IE / ROLLINGNEWS.IE

By comparison, US President Joe Biden’s address to the Dáil earlier this year clocked up 261,944 minutes of live streaming.

All of the RTÉ related appearances in Leinster House in recent weeks have garnered huge public attention, with streams of both the Public Accounts Committee and Media Committee far above anything previously recorded.

Interest was so high on the first day RTÉ executives appeared before the Media Committee on 29 June that the Oireachtas TV site crashed.

In total, 900,070 minutes of live streams were served from the very first RTÉ appearance when the executive team came before PAC on 28 June. 

As revelations about the inside workings of the broadcaster continued to come to light, viewership of Oireachtas TV continued to soar. 

The session in front of the PAC when RTÉ’s chief financial officer Richard Collins admitted to not knowing his exact salary (which he eventually said was around €200,000) clocked up 1,197,193 minutes of live streams.

Meanwhile, 1,799,070 minutes of live streams were served up from the media committee hearing on 5 July when then commercial director, Geraldine O’Leary was quizzed over the broadcaster’s barter account, Soho House membership and flip-flop purchases

Interest in the debacle continued to grow, with a total of 1,980,450 minutes streamed for yesterday’s session which saw the new RTÉ Director General Kevin Bakhurst come before PAC for the first.

Although no comparable data exists, the Oireachtas said John Delaney’s appearance before the Sport Committee in 2019 was also among the most viewed Oireachtas events, with 10 times the usual traffic on the site that day. 

Other highly viewed events included Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy’s address to the Dáil in April last year (384,108 minutes streamed), the 2023 Budget (445,078 minutes) and the 2022 Budget (347,237 minutes). 

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