RWC final tops TV viewing figures
December 16, 2003

Television viewing figures were released yesterday which showed that the moment England won the Rugby World Cup produced the highest UK audience of 2003 for a sports programme.

When Jonny Wilkinson drop-kicked England to victory over Australia in the final, there were 15 million viewers in Britain. The match produced an average audience of 12.7 million.

This was rugby's highest in the UK since the World Cup final at Twickenham in 1991, when an average of 13.6 million saw the game between the same countries.

The 2003 figures also represent more than half the confirmed global television audience for the final last month. Initiative, the international media agency that specialises in collating data, reports that 22 million watched the game worldwide.

Rugby also had four other figures in the top ten in Britain this year, three of them from the World Cup, although the audiences fell away steeply when England were not playing.

The next highest audience from the tournament was only 3.9 million and a peak of 4.7 million for the semi-final involving Australia and New Zealand.

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