RTE blame date change for fall in football final viewing figures

January 11, 2019

Dublin's Jack McCaffrey with Colm Cavanagh of Tyrone. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy.

RTE Group Head of Sport Declan McBennett has attributed the dramatic fall in viewing figures for last year's All-Ireland football final to the change in date.

The Dublin-Tyrone final was played on September 2, three weeks earlier than usual, and attracted a viewership of just 841,000 compared to the 1.14 million that tuned in for the previous year's final between Dublin and Mayo.

"They (All-Ireland finals) are still one of the most watched sporting events in the country - hurling and football," the Monaghan native explained to the Irish Daily Star.

"And across the summer of hurling and football, they are well represented. Yes, they are down and there will be many factors there. Both RTE and the GAA will consider that and watch what the figures are for 2019.

"One of the crucial issues, I think, is the timing of the All-Ireland finals. they moved this year. Traditionally, there is a bigger television audience in September than August because of holidays, other commitments and going back to school.

"The football final this year was the day before the kids went back to school, last-minute rushes and all that kind of stuff."

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