RLWC2021 becomes most watched Rugby League World Cup in history

Daniel Williams
RLWC2021 World Cup BBC SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

The RLWC2021 has broken more records, becoming the most watched Rugby League World Cup in the game’s history. 

Broadcast figures showing a domestic cumulative match average of more than 18.7 million as of Sunday, November 6.

The BBC have shown every match live. England’s quarter-final clash against Papua New Guinea recorded a peak of 1.7 million viewers.

Only the opening match of the tournament brought in more viewers. An impressive 1.8 million tuned in to see England face Samoa.

England’s wheelchair and women’s teams have also attracted big audiences with 0.5 million viewers apiece. England women’s game against Canada and England wheelchair team’s game against Australia both reached a peak of over 700,000.

The latest weekend of action was the biggest by far with a domestic terrestrial audience for Saturday and Sunday’s fixtures reaching 3.7million; with digital and online figures bringing that up to 4.3 million.

There have also been record breaking crowds, with the attendance at the DW Stadium breaking the all-time record for a Rugby League World Cup quarter-final match as 23,179 people were in attendance.

At the Copper Box Arena, the world record for attendance was broken twice with 3,268 people watching England’s Wheelchair team defeat Spain, increasing the record which was set just a few days earlier in the opening double header on Thursday 3 November.

England women’s game against Canada also broke the record of being the most attended women’s rugby league game in the northern hemisphere with 8,621 people in attendance at the DW Stadium.

RLWC2021 boss pleased with TV audience figures

RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton said: “As the tournament builds towards the latter stages, we can really see how the momentum is building with increasing audiences reflected in the latest update on broadcast figures.

“The coverage so far across the BBC and wider broadcast partners has been fantastic. I’m really pleased with how we’ve been able to showcase the sport to dedicated rugby league fans as well as new audiences around the globe.

“My hope is that it brings new fans to sport rugby league across all three formats; and a personal highlight for me has been the popularity of the wheelchair tournament. Those close to the sport already knew how gripping it can be, but having seen the reaction and the audience figures as the group games have progressed has been incredible, with yet more to come.”

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