Irish TV viewing up 11 minutes per day on 10 years ago.- Ireland’s top 20 TV programmes 2016

Official TAM Ireland/Nielsen figures on TV viewing for 2016 shows that viewing is central to the fabric of Irish life. Irish adults in the average TV household watched for 3 hrs & 21 mins every day. Interestingly with the iPhone celebrating its 10th birthday this week, TV has seen an increase in viewing of 11 minutes per day during the same period – that is 11 minutes more TV viewing per day than 10 years ago.

Notably, these average daily time spent viewing figures are based on an average of all adults in a TV Household. Looking specifically at the actual time spent per day per viewer, the daily time spent viewing per adult is 4 hrs 34 mins.

Live TV viewing – i.e viewing at the time it is aired, accounted for 90% of all TV viewing time last year while 10% was time-shifted (recorded on a personal video recorded link Sky+, Virgin Horizon, Eir Vision+, VCR or DVD).

The heaviest viewers were those aged over 55yrs who watched for just over 4 ½  hours each day last year, while Housekeepers with Children viewed for 3 hours 13 mins daily. 15-24yrs.  remain the lightest TV viewers but even at that, they viewed for almost 2 hours daily (109 mins), with live TV accounting for 89% of their viewing time.

Yet again this year, RTE claimed the top spot with The Late Late Toy Show being the highest rating show of 2016 having a whopping average audience of 1,571,600.

The Irish are sporting fanatics and 2016 was an amazing year for sport with Euro 2016, the Olympics and of course the Rugby and GAA,  this showed through with sport accounting for two thirds of the top 20 programmes of the year. All top 20 programmes this year  were on RTE Television and they all featured Irish content.

Sport proved popular across all channels particularly those sports with an Irish interest TG4, Sky Sports and Eir Sports, Channel 4 reporting Irish sporting events performing very welll.

News, current affairs and home-produced content continued to deliver exceptionally good audiences with RTE’s Rebellion and Room to Improve claiming top 20 rankings. All channels saw strong performances from their home produced and Irish content, TV3’s Goggle-boxIreland and Red Rock, and Sky 1’s 50 Ways to Kill your Mammy proved very popular with audiences during the year.

When it comes to children’s programmes  Nick Jr’s Peppa Pig  was a firm favourite.

Broadband is now available in 80% of Irish households and this provides increased opportunities to view TV content across multiple devices and in many formats – TAM Ireland work with IPSOS to conduct an annual survey to understand how this increased choice has changed our viewing. The TV set continues to be by far our favourite device to view on, accounting for 84% of our total video consumption.

In an average week the commercial broadcasters reach 90% of Housekeepers with Children, 87% of ABC1 adults and 87% of 25-44 yr olds – TV really is the super medium.

Jill McGrath CEO of TAM Ireland commented: “The more ways video content is offered to viewers, the more content they consume. They now supplement their TV viewing with additional viewing to other devices.”

Rank      Description                                                                            Channel            000’s               Share %
1 The Late Late Toy Show RTÉ One 1571.6 76.18
2 UEFA EURO 2016 Live – Live Play – 26/06/2016 – France v Rep of Ireland RTÉ2 1262.4 82.46
3 UEFA EURO 2016 Live – Live Play – Italy v Rep Of Ireland RTÉ2 1231.3 71.88
4 UEFA EURO 2016 Live – Live Play – Rep Of Ireland v Sweden RTÉ2 1082.8 70.72
5 The Sunday Game Live (All-Ireland Football Final) RTÉ One 927.8 68.77
6 UEFA EURO 2016 Live – Live Play – Belgium v Rep Of Ireland RTÉ2 925.1 77.94
7 The Saturday Game Live (All-Ireland Football Final Replay) RTÉ2 843.5 62.57
8 The Sunday Game Live (All-Ireland Hurling Final) RTÉ One 785.5 65.44
9 UEFA EURO 2016 Live – Live Play – 10/07/2016 – Portugal v France (Final) RTÉ2 782.8 45.03
10 UEFA EURO 2016 Live – Live Play – 06/07/2016 – Portugal v Wales (Semi-Final) RTÉ2 725.0 47.93
11 RTÉ News: Nine O’Clock RTÉ One 721.4 45.69
12 Rebellion RTÉ One 713.0 42.29
13 Mrs Brown’s Boys: Mammy’s Forest RTÉ One 706.6 38.84
14 Guinness Series Live – Ireland v New Zealand RTÉ2 683.0 48.38
15 Mrs Brown’s Boys: Chez Mammy RTÉ One 680.3 42.87
16 Room To Improve RTÉ One 679.1 44.11
17 The Late Late Show RTÉ One 678.8 47.35
18 RBS 6 Nations – Live – France v Ireland RTÉ2 672.5 58.92
19 RBS 6 Nations – Live – England v Ireland RTÉ2 630.8 47.36
20 Mrs Brown’s Boys Live RTÉ One 630.6 45.81

So what is the secret of TV’s success? According to Jill McGrath it’s the 3 Cs

Content, Convenience and Conversation

“TV has the most up-to-date and relevant content. It is the most convenient source of viewing as it is so easy to navigate and is based in the main relaxation room of the house. TV is the source of many conversations between friends, family and colleagues both on and offline.”



Sources: TAM Ireland Ltd/Nielsen TAM, Consolidated data, National Adults 15+, Jan-Dec 2016, Mon-Sun 03:00-26:59 v’s Jan-Dec 2006

TAM Ireland Ltd/Nielsen TAM, Consolidated data, National, Avg weekly reach (1+) Jan-Dec 2016, Mon-Sun 03:00-26:59

TAM Ireland ltd/Nielsen TAM Establishment Survey Jan 2017

TAM Ireland/IPSOS MRBI total viewing study 2016


TAM Ireland ltd/Nielsen TAM consolidated data, national, Individuals, Top 20 Progammes, Jan – Dec 2016, Mon-Sun 03.00-26.59