Rugbaí Beo on New Year's Day, featuring live coverage of the meeting of Connacht and Munster, was TG4's most watched programme over the Christmas period. Photo: Sportsfile

Connacht Rugby assist TG4's festive season ratings

TG4's ratings increased 25% during Christmas 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

According to official TAM Ireland/Nielsen figures, from Christmas Eve until New Year's Day, TG4 had an average daily share of 2.8% compared to 2.2% in 2020. The average daily reach was 632,700 and the overall reach during the Christmas period was 1.87m.

On New Year's Day, TG4 had its highest audience share of 4.3%. New Year's Eve, St. Stephen's Day and Christmas Day all performed well too, with audience shares of 3.2%, 3.3% and 2.7% respectively.

The most watched programme was Rugbaí Beo on New Year's Day, where Connacht won against Munster in The Sportsgrounds, Galway – a game watched by 118,000.

Elsewhere, a celebration of the best of Joe Dolan, Seo é Joe Dolan, on New Year's Eve was watched by 109,000 people, and a programme of Philomena Begley's 60 years in the music industry, Opry Philomena @ 60, aired on December 28, was watched by 72,000.

New documentaries during Christmas proved very popular with viewers. The Christmas Day documentary about Irish actor Peter O'Toole, Peter O'Toole - Réalta & Rógaire, was watched by 70,000.

Doireann Ní Ghlacáin – the granddaughter of Seán Ó Riada who fronted the documentary Seán Ó Riada Mo Sheanathair to find out more about the iconic musician who passed away 50 years ago – was watched by 60,000 and a tribute to Cork ladies football manager Éamonn Ryan, who passed away in 2020, was viewed by 51,000.

TG4's music offerings also drew in large numbers. The Saw Doctors - Sing a Powerful Song on St. Stephen's Day was watched by 72,000, while Joe Burke - Ceiliúradh, a celebration of the east Galway accordion player who died in February 2021, was watched by 54,000.

In addition, Fáilte 2022, the New Year's Eve countdown programme from Ráth Chairn Gaeltacht, presented by Dáithí Ó Sé and Orla Ní Fhinneadha, attracted 58,000 viewers.

The director general of TG4, Alan Esslemont, welcomed the good news, saying: “I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to the staff of TG4, our producers and all our partners who ensured that TG4 viewers had a very entertaining Christmas despite all the challenges that Covid placed in our way during the festive period.

“All our metrics show that the Irish public has a real fondness for TG4 as a channel and as a brand, and it is with some satisfaction that we can record this significant year-on-year increase as we approach 2022 with spirit and with optimism.”