Here are the most-watched shows on Irish TV in 2020

Here are the most-watched shows on Irish TV in 2020

More than 1.7million tuned into The Late Late Toy Show. File picture Andres Poveda

The Late Late Toy Show was the most-watched thing on Irish TV in 2020.

The figures, released today, show that Covid-19 even had an impact on TV ratings with Leo Varadkar’s ministerial broadcast in March the second most-watched programme.

Three sporting events - both All-Ireland finals and Ireland’s Six Nations clash with France in March also make the top 10.

More than 1.7 million people turned into The Late Late Toy Show this year, a show which the public was full of praise for.

1.59 million tuned into ‘Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Ministerial Broadcast’ on March 17, where the then-Taoiseach made an address to the nation on St Patrick’s Day.

That was the beginning of the pandemic at which point schools and bars had all been closed.

RTÉ’s Nine O’Clock news on the same day was the third most-watched programme of 2020 with 1.3million viewers.

Normal People, one of the hit shows of 2020, was watched by the more than 495,000 people on TV, featuring at 41st in the top 50.

However, the adaption of Sally Rooney’s novel was the most streamed show on the RTÉ Player with 818,000 streams for the top episode out of a total of 5 million streams to the programme series.

“Looking at the Top 50 programmes, it’s clear that Irish stories and content are the programmes that bring people together proving that live programmes, big events and home-produced content are hugely popular,” said Adrian Lynch, Director of RTÉ Audiences, Channels and Marketing. 

“2020 was the year that pushed us to our limits as a nation, when we had to stay apart in order to pull together. But throughout this exceptionally difficult year, RTÉ provided variety across all channels as Ireland’s public service media, informing, entertaining and educating audiences of all ages and uniting the nation in those key moments - both the highs and the lows - that will stay with us for a long time."

Official TAM Ireland/Nielsen figures for 2020 showed that the average person in a TV home watched two hours 40 mins of TV every day, an increase of 1% on 2019.  

The Top 10 most-watched shows were:

  • Late Late Toy Show (RTÉ One) - 1.7million viewers - November 11
  • Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Ministerial Broadcast (RTÉ One) - 1.59million viewers - March 17
  • RTÉ News: Nine O’Clock (RTÉ One) 1.3million viewers - March 17
  • RTÉ News: Six One (RTÉ One) - 1million viewers - December 30
  • Saturday Game Live - All-Ireland Senior Football Final - Dublin v Mayo (RTÉ2) - 876,600 viewers - December 19
  • The Late Late Show (RTÉ One) - 875,900 viewers - March 27
  • Guinness 6 Nations - France v Ireland (Virgin Media One) - 850,300 viewers - October 31
  • RTÉ News Special (RTÉ One) - 829,300 viewers
 - March 27
  • Room To Improve: Dermot’s House (RTÉ One) - 776,600 viewers - January 5
  • Sunday Game Live - All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final - Limerick v Waterford (RTÉ2) - 712,900 viewers - December 13

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