After a thrilling 64 games airing live across all RTÉ platforms, it came down to one of the most exciting world cup finals in living memory as Argentina and France battled it right out to the bitter end in a penalty shootout which resulted in the world's greatest player winning the ultimate prize and lifting the World Cup trophy. RTÉ provided live coverage of all 64 games across RTÉ2, RTÉ Player and RTÉ News Channel to Irish audiences over the past month. Yesterday's World Cup Final saw record numbers of 780,000 (59% share) on RTÉ2 and also 478,000 live streams on RTÉ Player. The final peaked at 17.54 when 1.030M viewers sat on the edge of their seat as Messi went up against Mbappe in a nail-biting penalty shootout.

Over the four-week period, record numbers tuned into over 200 hours of World Cup coverage across television, player and radio live from Qatar showcasing the best what football had to offer. The road to the final saw huge audiences as Argentina’s semi-final victory over Croatia was the most-watched match on RTÉ2 which had an average audience of 784,000. England v France was in third overall place with a 760,000 average audience. The second semi-final between France v Morocco was the fourth biggest match on RTÉ2 scoring 632,000 viewing average.

Football fans tuned into RTÉ Player in their droves as 8.5 million total streams was recorded across the tournament. This is an increase of 240% on live streams on Euro 2020 tournament and a 47% increase on the World Cup tournament in 2018. Yesterday's World Cup Final had 478k live streams with viewers tuning in from all around the country to make it a record-breaking tournament for RTÉ Player. Since the World Cup began on 20th November, RTÉ Player has had 15 million streams in total. Viewers have also been engaged with a wide variety of content, including Quinn Country, The Late Late Toy ShowFrasier, Normal People and The Irish Civil War.

Group Head of RTÉ Sport, Declan McBennett, said: "The “Messi Mbappe” World Cup brought about audience engagement at unprecedented levels and is a tribute to the professionalism of those involved from presenters, pundits and production teams. The comprehensive coverage of primarily a wonderful sporting tournament while addressing the backdrop of social and political issues was embraced by the audience and will live long in the memory."

Head of RTÉ Player, Aoife Byrne, said: "We are thrilled with the performance of the FIFA World Cup on RTÉ Player. With a total of 8.5 million streams and 1.8 million unique devices, it has been a record-breaking tournament. The epic final between Argentina and France had 478,000 live streams and was the most-streamed match of the tournament. Our focus over the past two years has been on investing in and improving the reliability and resilience of RTÉ Player and particularly our ability to scale to meet the rapidly increasing audiences we’re seeing, both live and on-demand. The user experience achieved during the World Cup where RTÉ Player delivered its highest concurrent audience ever demonstrates the effectiveness of these works." 

RTÉ coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2022™ was proudly sponsored by Hyundai and KFC.

Take a look at our graphic for a snapshot of how the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2023 performed on RTÉ Player and RTÉ TV.