TV3 no contest for RTÉ2 in Euro 2016 final ratings

An ad-free BBC also fared better than TV3...

Almost half of all Irish television watchers on Sunday evening tuned in for RTÉ2’s coverage of the Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal, as Montrose enjoyed viewing figures that dwarfed the TV3 competition.

An average of 782,100 watched the Portugese victory in the Stade de France on RTÉ2, representing a 46% share.

TV3, meanwhile, had a 7% share with an average of 116,000 people enjoying the channel's first-ever Euro final, secured as part of a television rights sub-licensing deal with RTÉ.

This marked the first time both Irish stations broadcast the same live football game.

Despite featuring Martin O'Neill on the panel, TV3 also failed to beat the BBC for viewers.

The Gary Lineker-fronted – and crucially, advertising-free – programme had an average of 149,000 viewers in Ireland.

In the UK, BBC had four times as many viewers as ITV.

RTÉ2’s figure peaked at 925,700 in extra-time, when Eder scored the sole goal to win it for Portugal.

An average of 596,000 stayed to watch the post-match analysis, as well as the farewell to retiring Senior Analyst John Giles.

Giles will continue to offer his insights on Newstalk when the new Premier League season commences in August.

The final was the fifth most-viewed match of the tournament, after the Irish team’s four performances. Ireland’s defeat to France came out on top, with an average of 1.26 million viewers and an 83% audience share.

RTÉ’s Group Head of Sport Ryle Nugent said:

"It is extremely heartening that, in a time of intense and increasing competition, RTÉ Sport's output continues to engage Irish audiences in such huge numbers.

"It has been a fantastic month of top-class action from France and we are both pleased and proud to see that not only did most Irish viewers choose RTÉ for last night’s game, but that all 10 of the top-10 rating games were on RTÉ2."