RTÉ has scored 39 spots on TAM Ireland’s Most Watched TV list for last year, with a range of entertainment shows, dramas, comedies, documentaries, sporting fixtures and news and events.
The figures demonstrate that Irish audiences love to be entertained. The much-loved Late Late Toy Show topped the list again this year with an enormous audience of over 1.5 million and 72% share tuning in to see Ryan Tubridy and a cast of hundreds bring the Greatest Show to their homes. Room to Improve lifted the roof in January for a very special debut series episode with an audience of 860,000 who watched on RTÉ One with delight as Daniel and Majella got the Dermot treatment at their Donegal house. The Eurovision Song Contest final with Ireland in the final for the first time in five years, featuring Ryan O’Shaughnessy flying the flag for proud viewers, had an audience on RTÉ One of 702,000. And the Late Late Show makes another appearance in the Top 20, this time for its London special (642,000). Comedy also features prominently for RTÉ in the list with the festive episodes of Mrs Brown’s Boys (689,000) and The Young Offenders (601,000) making an appearance. RTÉ’s dramas Striking Out and Taking Down also made an impact, with an episode of Fair City in February also taking a spot on the list. Perennial RTÉ favourites Dancing with the Stars, Operation Transformation and Rose of Tralee also rated well in 2018.
Sport on RTÉ2 holds 19 places on the list, with the Guinness Series Ireland v New Zealand match watched by 927,000, the FIFA World Cup match Croatia v England watched by 924,000, and the All-Ireland finals (Sunday Game) Galway v Limerick (854,000) and Dublin v Tyrone (841,000) all appearing within the top ten.
The highest-watched documentary of the year was the much-acclaimed RTÉ produced Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe story with reporter Katie Hannon which had an audience of 637,000. Other popular RTÉ documentaries were We Won the Lotto (478,000) and One Day: How Ireland Eats (474,000), a new series of which is currently on RTÉ One on Monday nights.
The figures also demonstrate how the public turn to RTÉ as their first port of call for news and information at critical times, with the RTÉ Six One News and Nine O'Clock News programmes achieving audiences of 808,000 and 707,000 on 1 March respectively, as Storm Emma raged across Ireland. 2018 saw Pope Francis' visit to Ireland, with RTÉ's coverage of the papal mass in the Phoenix Park on 26 August watched by 486,000.
The TAM Ireland list clearly demonstrates how much Irish people love home produced, Irish content. We’re very proud to have delivered 39 out of 50 of the top viewed programmes across a wide range of shows and genres including entertainment, documentary, sport and news.