The start of another year, and of course the viewing figures for Ireland's most watched programmes of 2021 are in. Obviously, RTE is the dominant channel, but Virgin have claimed a few places as well. The usual suspects programmes are all there as well, along with some new editions to the list.
The Late Late Toy Show was once again unsurprisingly the most watched TV programme of 2021. The annual extravaganza brought in 1,707,800 viewers to RTE One on November 26th.
As usual, sporting events were the dominant theme in the top 20, with seven in the top 10 and eleven in the top twenty.
The All-Ireland Football Final between Mayo and Tyrone came in at number two with 944,600 viewers, with the hurling equivalent in at number nine with 744,200 viewers.
England’s Euro 2021 games also proved to be exceedingly popular. Their final and semi-final came in at no.2 and 3, although a lot of viewers may have been tuning in to see their downfall.
Once again rugby proved to be extremely popular amongst the Irish public with four Irish matches featuring in the top 15. The highest of which was their Six Nations clash with France at no. 6, which brought in 798,400 viewers.
The list was a stark reminder of the decrease in popularity of the Irish soccer team, with their World Cup Qualifier against Portugal their highest inclusion at a lowly 16. Their next highest was the away fixture against the same side, coming in at no. 27.
Nine of the top 12 watched TV programmes on RTE last year were sports matches
3: GAA (2 football, 1 hurling)
2: Football (England's Euro 2020 semi-final & final) pic.twitter.com/BV1rea2ERj
— Neil O'Riordan (@noriordan) January 12, 2022
Every year this list serves up interesting inclusions other than sports and the Late Late Toy Show. The most watched of these last year was Oprah Winfrey with Harry and Meghan on RTE 2 at no. 5, bringing in an impressive 836,500 viewers.
Kin, the new crime drama on RTE, debuted at no. 15, while the ever popular Reeling in the Years made an appearance at no. 17 with its episode that looked back on 2010.
Mrs. Brown’s Boys Live, The Tommy Tiernan Show, Ireland’s Fittest Family, and The Case I Can’t Forget, all featured in the top 30.