RTÉ Delivers 44 of the Top 50 Most Watched TV Programmes in Ireland in 2022

In 2022, Irish audiences continued to choose Irish content above international fare as the viewing figures for 2022 released by TAM Ireland/Nielsen Media demonstrate. 

49 of the Top 50 most watched TV programmes by Irish audiences were home-produced.

RTÉ provided 44 of the 50 most watched TV programmes in 20221, as audiences engaged with live sport, entertainment, trusted news, gripping factual programmes, Irish documentaries and local drama.

Even with the increased availability of international streaming services, TAM Ireland research shows that the average Irish adult in a TV home watches 2 hours 35 mins of broadcaster content on a TV set every day, 85% of which is live and 15% watched as catch up.2

Looking at total viewing across all devices, 70% of the Irish audiences daily viewing is of broadcaster content, 11% with streaming services such as Netflix etc. and 19% with video sharing platforms such as YouTube and Tik-Tok.3

RTÉ’s mix of live and on-demand services have both proven hugely popular this year. RTÉ Player served a record breaking 83.3 million streams in 2022 with a mix of sport, Irish and international drama, news, entertainment and factual programmes.

The Late Late Toy Show retained pole position at the top of the Irish TV viewing chart with over 1.5 million viewers enjoying the quintessentially live and Irish collective viewing experience.

2022 saw Irish viewers enthralled with national and international sport with nine of the top ten most watched programmes all free-to-air sport. The All-Ireland Senior Football Final (872,000) was the second most watched programme overall. RTÉ’s GAA Championship coverage saw our national games net 8 of the top 50 programmes, while The Saturday/Sunday Game Live attracted over 1.6 million streams on RTÉ Player during the year.

RTÉ Sport’s coverage of FIFA World Cup 2022 scored hugely with Irish fans with over 8.2 million streams of the tournament on RTÉ Player and 13 of the Top 50 most watched TV programmes of the year on TV. Argentina V Croatia (784,000) and Argentina v France (783,700) on RTÉ2 scored 5th and 6th place respectively on the most watched TV programmes table.

Irish audiences continued to love Irish local drama in 2022 with Fair City (482, 700) and Clare-based Smother (425,000) being the only drama to make the Top 50 most watched TV programmes. RTÉ Player saw audiences engage with a mix of the best of Irish and international drama, with drama programmes delivering 13 of the Top 25 most streamed programmes on the service.

2022 also saw Irish audiences come together for feelgood entertainment and heart-warming Irish stories with The Late Late Show (Jan 14, 567,000), NYE Countdown with Westlife (557,000), Dancing With The Stars (Jan 9, 544,000), Rose of Tralee (516,000), The Tommy Tiernan Show (Jan 8, 499,000), Ireland’s Fittest Family (Nov 11, 447,000), DIY SOS (Apr 3, 450,000), Reeling in the Years (Jan 4, 447,000) and Operation Transformation (Jan 26, 440,000) all scoring a place in the Top 50 most watched TV programmes.

Unique Irish stories captured Irish audiences’ attention with RTÉ programmes Quinn Country (29 November, 480,000), Crime and Confessions (Jan 24, 465,000) and RTÉ Investigates (Feb 14, 499,000) all making the most watched TV programmes of 2022.

The public continued to choose RTÉ for trusted News & Current Affairs in 2022 with the most watched news programme of the year on any channel being the RTÉ Six One News on January 21 with 655,000 viewers watching, as the Taoiseach announced the end of Covid restrictions from the following day. The RTÉ Nine O’Clock News on February 27 had 593,000 viewers as President Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces to be on alert on day four of the invasion of Ukraine. The two evening bulletins collectively also generated almost 4 million streams on the RTÉ Player throughout the year.

RTÉ Director of Content, Jim Jennings said, “RTÉ exists to serve Irish audiences and it’s heartening to see that Irish audiences chose Irish content above all else and that RTÉ’s content continues to score so highly. The audience is always top of mind for us when commissioning and creating programming whether that be sport, drama, documentaries or factual programming. We thank our partners in sport and in the independent production sector for working with us as we look forward to continuing to deliver a unique mix of Irish content in 2023”.