Bumper season for Championship coffers

Attendances at this year’s All-Ireland hurling and football championships reached 1,448,560, an increase of 9.2% on the 2014 figure.

Bumper season for Championship coffers

Though failing to break the 1.5 million barrier, the turnout at championship games this summer represented a 121,994 hike on the 1,326,566 patrons who filed through the turnstiles in 2014.

The rise in crowd-numbers is welcome news for Croke Park top-brass after attendance figures had fallen last year by 3.5% compared with 2013.

In the football championship, the total attendance figure at the quarter-finals, semis and Sunday’s decider was 420,005, an increase of 17% on last year’s equivalent (359,887).

Even excluding both the semi-final replays involving Dublin-Mayo and Kerry-Mayo (2014), the total crowd size still rose by 14,477 (4.5%).

August and September hurling fare drew in 215,067, a decrease of 10% on the 2014 figure (the Kilkenny-Tipperary final replay excluded).

In the provinces, Munster’s total turnout was up by 24% on last year — the replays in either season not counted here.

Attendances at the Munster football championship grew by 63%, the total figure jumping from 35,268 to 57,573 (replays excluded).

Crowds attending Ulster championship games (142,395) rose by 5.6%, the fifth successive year the province experienced a jump.

The 66,407 who attended the six Connacht championship football games was less than 1% down on last year. In Leinster, attendances rose by 197 to 250,931.

Meanwhile an average of 875,300 watched RTÉ2’s live coverage of Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC final — delivering a 60.5% share and making it the most-watched programme on Irish television this year.

The audience tuning in peaked at 1.08 million as the decider reached its climax. The game attracted 49,100 more viewers than 2014’s equivalent between Kerry and Donegal.

Year-on-year, the average audience for all football matches in the GAA All-Ireland Football Championship was up 4% or 14,700 viewers.

Ireland’s Six Nations clash against England is second in the top 10 shows on the station this year at 756,200 followed by this month’s All-Ireland SHC final between Kilkenny and Galway 739,600.

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