Broadcast figures for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 up until 6 November, had an domestic cumulative match viewership average of more than 18.7million.
This figure makes the competition the most watched Rugby League World Cup of all time, as it continues to break records in its aim to be the most inclusive tournament in the sport.
“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,” said Rugby League World Cup 2021 Chief Executive, Jon Dutton.
All matches to date have been broadcast live on the BBC, whilst the England men’s quarter final clash with Papua New Guinea was the first game to average over 1.5 million viewers in recording a peak of 1.7million viewers – a figure only beaten on the opening match of the tournament, when a peak of 1.8 million tuned into see England beat Samoa.
“The coverage so far across the BBC and wider broadcast partners has been fantastic, and 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,” Dutton continued.
“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.”
Furthermore, in the women’s and wheelchair tournaments – running simultaneously with the men’s game for the first time ever – both England teams attracted notable audiences with an average of 500,000 viewers each.
The England women’s game against Canada, and England wheelchair team’s game against Australia proved to be the most popular, as they both reached a peak of more than 700,000 viewers.
The latest weekend was the most popular so far with a domestic terrestrial audience for Saturday and Sunday’s fixtures of 3.7million, and digital and online figures bringing that up to 4.3 million.
Additionally, the attendance at the DW Stadium broke the all-time record for a Rugby League World Cup Quarter-Final match as 23,179 rugby fans entered Wigan’s ground.