Maori Television has officially topped the ratings stakes as the most watched free-to-air broadcaster for Rugby World Cup 2011, with its total cumulative audience rising to more than two million individual viewers, the largest for any broadcaster covering the tournament.
Ratings figures released today show more people watched the quarterfinals action on Maori Television than on the other two free-to-air channels.
“The shared quarter finals were always going to be the test of where Maori Television sits against the competition. The results show New Zealanders trust us to give them the viewing experience they want for Rugby World Cup 2011,” said Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather.
Maori Television showed live coverage of all the quarter-finals. Live coverage of the England v France and New Zealand v Argentina games was shared with One and TV3.
Mather said the All Blacks’ win over Argentina gained an audience of 501,500 and represented Maori Television’s second biggest audience of the tournament so far.
“What is particularly pleasing is that our audience actually grew from the exclusive free-to-air game between Australia and South Africa to the All Blacks game which was shared by all channels,” he said.
“This tells us people like what we’re doing, we’re on the right track.”
Maori Television’s ratings for live games have also been far higher than predicted by industry specialists prior to the tournament.
It is the only free-to-air channel covering all 48 games for Rugby World Cup 2011 and has live coverage of both semi-finals and the grand final on October 23.
This story originally appeared on StopPress.