Top 50 TV Programmes 2021

Official TAM Ireland/Nielsen figures* show Irish television broadcasters dominated our leisure time in 2021 – as a nation we viewed 3.7 billion hours of TV! The average Irish adult in a TV home watches for 2 hours 47 mins every day – that’s almost 20 hours a week that each of us spent with our favourite form of entertainment. 84% of daily viewing is consumed live, (i.e. viewed as it is scheduled) and 16% watched
as catch up. 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 29 mins watching broadcast TV every day.

Sport and Celebrity Gossip

The highest rating of all programmes across all channels available to view in Ireland in 2021 was The Late Late Toy Show** and sport once again dominated our viewing accounting for 7 of the Top 10 most viewed programmes. Interestingly when it comes to entertainment shows, we all love a bit of celeb gossip –Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Harry was the 5h most popular show this year and I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here, came in at 36. Other general entertainment programmes that made it into the top 30 were Reeling in the Years, Ireland’s fittest family and the Tommy Tiernan show.
Home produced drama featured highly on the list too with the thrilling Kin securing its place at 16 and Hidden Assets at 30. Home-produced programmes and entertainment shows continued to dominate the top of the ratings chart accounting for 47 of the top 50 programmes of the year. No surprise given the level of investment the Irish broadcasters put into home produced content estimated to be in excess of €350m in 2021 We are a nation of sport lovers and it was again a big winner this year. The All Ireland Football Final was the most viewed sporting programme of 2021 and the Ireland V France match was the most viewed Guinness Six Nations game.

Live Programmes

Looking at the Top 50 programmes it is evident that “Live” programmes, big events and home produced content are hugely popular, which is a unique strength of TV broadcasters. The ability of TV broadcasters to provide this content at scale to mass audiences is one of the reasons why TV continues to stand out as the super medium. When we look at total viewing across all devices and formats***, viewing to broadcaster
content is by far the most popular viewing activity. People spend more than twice as much time daily with broadcaster content than any other form of video content including streaming services such as Netflix etc. This is on the back of a record breaking year for broadcaster’s streaming content with all broadcasters seeing significant growth in this area.

Ad Revenue
The buoyant viewing figures this year led to an excellent year for Ad revenue for the broadcasters, while the final revenue figures for 2021 won’t be available for a number of months it is expected revenue will be well up on last year.
Jill McGrath CEO of TAM Ireland commented: TV is our constant companion. Always there to entertain us and connect us with what’s happening around us. The content produced by TV broadcasters continues to inform, entertain and drive conversations
across the nation, with relevance being at the heart of its appeal.

* Source: TAM Ireland / Nielsen, Adults 15+, Total TV, Avg. mins per person, consolidated, all day, 2021
** Source: TAM Ireland/Nielsen: Top Programmes based on Individuals 4+, All Subscribing Channels, Averaging
Option: Any Day, Any Time, Best Episode, Minimum Duration 10 Minutes.
Please note: This list uses best episode of a series.
***Source: TAM Ireland/Red C/Nielsen Data Integration 2021