How Stormers have become the most watched URC team
STATS: Helped by their appearance in the United Rugby Championship Grand Final, the Stormers were the most viewed team in the tournament.
The URC Champs top the most watch clubs charts with their total audience coming in at over a 7.2million.
The Stormers are followed by the Bulls, Munster, Sharks and Leinster for audiences across the entire season.
The Stormers and Munster were the most watched teams in South Africa and Ireland, respectively with Ospreys leading the interest in Wales, Benetton were No.1 in Italy and Edinburgh topped the pile in Scotland.
Derby matches which are at the heart of the tribal rivalries in the URC also performed well with only one South African fixture breaking the dominance of the all-Irish clashes.
"We are blown away by the broadcast audiences in the first season of the United Rugby Championship," URC CEO Martin Anayi said.
"It is a tremendous credit to the standard of rugby displayed by our teams and players and the superb work done by our broadcasters to showcase that talent.
“The URC offers a diversity in playing styles and cultures across two hemispheres that is unique in club rugby and we can see that fans in the north and south have been attracted to that."
New TV MilestoneThe first-ever URC Grand Final which took place in Cape Town, South Africa between the Stormers and Bulls, set a new TV milestone for the league.
A total of 1.25 million watched the Stormers win their first URC title and set a new record for the league decider.
Although the Grand Final was an all-South African affair 41 percent of the audience came from outside of the territory with RTÉ’s live coverage in the Republic of Ireland accounting for 15 percent.
This trend of interest was a hallmark of the entire URC Play-Offs which also set a record for viewership with 3.8 million across seven games. The largest viewership for the Play-Offs came in the Stormers v Ulster Final Four game where the audience hit 754 000 while the other Semi-Final encounter between Leinster and the Bulls drew 472 000.
Including the URC Grand Final, the average audience per game in the Play-Offs was 537 000.
Meanwhile, in the Top 10 most watched games of the regular season, Munster featured five times, the Sharks were involved in three with Ospreys, Ulster and the Stormers appeared twice.
The most watched game in the regular season was Ospreys’ Round 3 game with Sharks.
The most watched derby games of the season all took place in Ireland, with Munster’s R10 clash with Ulster drawing in 52 3000 in a game that was also No 5 in the list of Top 10 most watched in the regular season. Munster also feature in four of the Top 5 derby audiences. R10 Munster v Ulster 523,707 R4 Munster v Connacht 521,110 R16 Ulster v Munster 428,709 R15 Munster v Leinster 402,534 R6 Leinster v Ulster 401,603 Top 5 Games from South Africa R6 Sharks v Scarlets 531,421 R17 Stormers v Leinster 417,323 R7 Lions v Munster 394,416 R16 Sharks v Leinster 361,290 R17 Bulls v Glasgow Warriors 323,386 Top 5 Games from Ireland R2 Munster v Stormers 538,909 R10 Munster v Ulster 523,707 R4 Munster v Connacht 521,110 R1 Munster v Sharks 484,267 R4 Ulster v Lions 468,993 Top 5 Games from Italy R11 Zebre v Munster 439,701 R1 Zebre v Lions 295,647 R1 Benetton v Stormers 213,754 R10 Benetton v Sharks 202,283 R4 Benetton v Ospreys 196,817 Top 5 Games from Scotland R3 Edinburgh v Stormers 382,185 R3 Glasgow Warriors v Lions 363,674 R4 Edinburgh v Bulls 260,448 R5 Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 224,494 R2 Glasgow Warriors v Sharks 209,027 Top 5 Games from Wales R3 Ospreys v Sharks 580,026 R3 Cardiff v Bulls 560,886 R5 Ospreys v Munster 480,652 R4 Dragons v Stormers 445,471 R3 Scarlets v Munster 330,313 Stats: URCOfficial