Top 50 TV Programmes 2018

Top 50 TV Programmes 2018

 Official TAM Ireland/Nielsen figures for 2018 show television viewing continues to dominate our leisure time with the average Irish adult in a TV home watching for 3 hours 4 mins every day.

86% of daily viewing is consumed live, (i.e. viewed as it is scheduled), with just 14% watched in time-shifted mode, (i.e. recorded on a PVR “Personal Video Recorder” like Sky+ or Virgin Media Horizon box, or via VCR or DVD). 60% of all TV homes in Ireland now have PVR capability, offering more choice and flexibility to the viewer.

Good news for advertisers; Housekeepers (those that have the responsibility for the main household shopping) continue to be amongst the heaviest viewers spending 3hrs and 46 mins watching TV every day. As TV viewing habits for the younger 15-44 tech savvy audience continue to perform strongly in 2018, It is very encouraging to see that new commissions Ireland’s Got Talent on Virgin Media Television and The Young Offenders on RTE performed strongly in 2018

The highest rating of all programmes in 2018 was The Late Late Toy Show again1. Interestingly when it comes to entertainment shows, Room to Improve, Mrs Browns Boys and I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here all performed exceptionally well, making it into the top 15 shows of the year1.  Home-produced programmes and soaps continued to dominate the top of the ratings chart across all channels.

Sport was a big winner this year again accounting for more than half of the top 50 programmes of the year.  Ireland’s Grand Slam 6 Nations clash against England was the most watched sporting programme of the year.

Weather plays a big role in Irish life and this was reflected in the TV viewing data.  The Beast from the East hit us for a week in March meaning we stayed glued to our sets for an incredible average of 4hr 5mins every day during that week2.

Looking at the Top 50 programmes we can see that “Live” programmes and Events are what audiences want to watch and that’s where a key strength of TV broadcasters lies. TV broadcaster’s ability to provide this content to mass audiences is what makes TV stand out as the super medium.


In addition, TAM Ireland have also released data about viewing across non TV devices in 2018. According to the survey we claim to spend an additional 17% of our time viewing content on other devices. This has remained relatively stable over the 5 years that this study has been undertaken 3.

The very strong viewing figures for 2018 underpin these findings confirming again that these other viewing devices are simply adding to the total time spent viewing.

Jill McGrath CEO of TAM Ireland commented that “It’s fantastic to see the power that Television continues to have in grabbing the nation’s attention. As programme choice continues to expand so too does our appetite for content. Over the last decade we have seen viewing time and occasions increase to consume this additional choice. TV is in a great place right now and dominates the media. 2019 should be a super TV viewing year

Top 50 Programmes 2018 below: