There has been a marked increase in viewers for the opening five rounds of the Aviva Premiership season, with the average audiences for the 16 live games shown to date on BT Sport almost doubling from those seen when games were shown on Sky Sports and ESPN.
The highest single audience was for the Leicester-Northampton match which peaked at 228,000 and averaged 179,000 according to figures released by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. While BT has boasted of record figures, it does not release detailed numbers.
"We have been delighted with the partnership so far, not just for live matches but also for the midweek show - Rugby Tonight," said Dominic Hayes, the commercial director of Premiership Rugby. "The coverage innovations like the dressing room cameras and in-game interviews have been welcomed by our supporters."