Scotland's rugby team break TV audience records in RWC 2015
Scotland's Rugby World Cup quarter-final showdown with Australia generated one of the highest TV audiences for the sport for a decade as millions of viewers followed the action back home. The Twickenham quarter-final vs. Australia, which saw a last minute penalty decide the outcome, captivated the Scottish public to become the most watched rugby match in Scotland in the past ten years, and the most viewed game north of the border of the whole tournament.The tense end-to-end affair generated an audience peak of 1.1million, one in five of the Scottish population tuning in to see if a semi-final place could be secured.BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) ratings from STV, the national rights holders for the tournament, showed an audience reach of 3.3m Scots for the tournament, two-thirds of the national population.The team also drew millions of viewers internationally with nearly 20m fans in Japan watching their team play Scotland in the Group B pool match alone.The Scotland team attracted increasing support throughout the Rugby World Cup, with thousands of fans attending matches in Gloucester, Leeds and Newcastle for the group matches.The rising popularity of rugby, illustrated by sold-out matches at BT Murrayfield for the 2015 RBS 6 Nations and record season ticket sales at Glasgow Warriors, was highlighted by the fact the 2015 Rugby World Cup TV audience reach grew in Scotland by 32% compared to the 2011 tournament.Fans also used the STV Player extensively to follow the tournament online with 543,000 live streams of matches recorded, more than the 2014 FIFA World Cup.A further 110,000 caught up with the action via the STV Player video-on-demand option.Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby's Chief Operating Officer said: "We were hugely impressed with the amount of support the team received in England for the Rugby World Cup tournament and it was great to know so many millions of fans were watching on TV back home too."The STV coverage was excellent and the viewing figures confirm the growing interest and engagement with rugby across Scotland. Our players gave their all and represented the country with great pride and determination. It is therefore very gratifying that their efforts were seen and acknowledged by so many people."Elizabeth Partyka, Deputy Director of Channels at STV said: "We are proud and pleased that so many people across the country tuned into STV on television and on-line so that they could share in the Scotland team's fantastic Rugby World Cup performance.""Clearly the popularity of rugby in Scotland is on the rise and it is humbling to think that we've contributed to that; through our special programmes made with Scottish Rugby and through our comprehensive coverage of what was a fantastic tournament."Scottish Rugby also received solid audiences for the two in-house produced TV shows broadcast in partnership with STV local channels before, and during, the Rugby World Cup, with thousands of fans using the STV Player to view the programmes.