Virgin Media Television (VMTV) has reported a strong start to Q1 of 2021 across both its linear channels its Virgin Media Player.
According to the broadcaster, it reported a stand out record for the best-ever daily average share of viewing with 35.9% of All Adults 15+ tuning in for the Guinness Six Nations Super Saturday (March 20th, 2021), including Ireland’s historic win against England, broadcast live from the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and watched by an average of 778,100 viewers. In total, 2.5 million viewers tuned in to this year’s Guinness Six Nations tournament on Virgin Media Television. With viewers in extended level 5 restrictions, the tournament enjoyed +22% growth in average viewing figures year on year. The Ireland vs. France fixture was the most viewed sporting event in Q1 2021 across all channels in Ireland, averaging 798,400 viewers during match time.
During the quarter, VMTV says it also surpassed its previously held record daily average share of viewing for Adults aged 15-44, delivering an average 41.7% share of viewing.
VMTV also noted that over 850,000 viewers tuned into its coverage of Cheltenham Festival this year. Viewing across the four days averaged 191,000 viewers, with two key race days averaging in excess of 213,000 viewers.
The first quarter of the year also saw a continuation in the growth trends for Virgin Media News, particularly among the younger 15-44 audience. Collectively, the three main Virgin Media News bulletins are showing viewing growth of +52% for total audience and +60% for the 15-44 cohort, compared to Q1 last year.
Other key figures published by the broadcaster show that its Donate For Dementia fundraising week in March raised over €1m for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland while across the week, one million viewers tuned into coverage across a series of live studio content shows, culminating with two heartfelt documentaries on the Sunday night “We need to talk about Dementia” and “Finding Jack Charlton”. To date, “We need to talk about Dementia” has been watched 215,000 times and “Finding Jack Charlton” has delivered over 415,000 views across all platforms.
According to Bill Malone, director of content at Virgin Media Television: “It has been a particularly strong first quarter for VMTV with significant growth across our three free to air channels coinciding with the success of our revamped free Player. The “Unmissable Drama” genre and new Box Set library section of our Player has delivered over 2 million streams to date this year, featuring the best of home produced drama like Blood and acquired quality drama like Whitehouse Farm Murders and The Bay. Following on from such a stellar performance there is great momentum behind VMTV and so much more to look forward to. This week we start filming a major new Irish drama called “Redemption”, a co-commission between VMTV and ITV; while our recent hit format “Eating With The Enemy” has just signed an international distribution deal with All3Media.”