Television viewership figures of the Rugby World Cup games to date have an interesting story tell – and should be giving SARU some food for thought to chew on when it comes to what they want to achieve in terms of broadening the sport’s audience.
The SABC reported last week that viewers watching Rugby World Cup games on SABC 2 far outnumbered those watching DStv’s Supersport channel. DStv currently holds broadcast rights to all major rugby tournaments while the SABC won the rights to broadcast a limited number of the games, including the Boks’ matches.
The SABC’s Business Intelligence Marketing Unit reports that more than 1 092 392 watched the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony on SABC compared to 186 927 Supersport viewers. When South Africa played Fiji – a Saturday game – 3 448 050 people watched the game on SABC 2. Supersport had 591 288 viewers.
Now the SABC believes it has ammunition to take on Supersport when it comes to negotiating broadcast rights. SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, told SABC News that these statistics would show SARU that “we can give them the audiences that they want…they have to choose between whether it’s about the money or if it’s about publicising the sport.”
Kganyago says: “It is obviously an indication that we are reaching out to the people regardless of whether they can afford it or not. We believe that sport like soccer, rugby and cricket are out there for the public of South Africa and not for the selected few. For us the fact that people are watching on our platform is a clear indication that we are there for them.”
In the meantime, The Media Shop has been busy compiling viewership information too. The media agency has created graphs that show just who is watching what channels up until September 20.
“The below graph shows us the overall audience ratings, by station, per game against All Adults (aged 15+). The opening ceremony achieved just less than 4 AR’s with SABC 2 having the highest ratings,” The MediaShop said in its newsletter. “Our two SA games (included in this analysis) however are the highest achieving games so far, and we are sure that the game against Samoa and our fantastic win against Nambia will achieve similar ratings too.”
“Then, another game to look at – Even though this game was only broadcast on Supersport, it is interesting to see how well the Ireland vs Australia game did. Almost the same ratings as the Bok game SA vs Fiji. Maybe a sign of things to come?” The MediaShop writes.
The MediaShop notest that “time differences are having an impact on the audience ratings as many people are at work and unable to watch morning TV.
“We won’t be seeing the 11 million viewers as we did with Soccer World Cup opening game, however if we do reach the final – it will be interesting to see what a Sunday morning at 10h00 will deliver.”