All SA Super 14 final breaks SA viewing record

The 2010 Super 14 final was watched by a record number of South African television viewers at the end of a season in which the average TV audience for the season grew by an astonishing 42 percent compared to 2009.

The Bulls’ clash with the Stormers at Orlando Stadium in Soweto was watched by a combined audience of 1.299m on the rights-holding SuperSport and M-Net – more even than watched the 2007 Rugby World Cup final.

The audience set a record for a sports event on the broadcaster and was the second successive week that the one million mark had been breached for Super Rugby following the Bulls’ semi-final against the Crusaders the week before.

“An all-South African final with the added excitement of it being hosted in Soweto added to the interest in the match, but it only continued a trend we had seen all season,” said Mr Oregan Hoskins, the president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

“The audience was up 38per cent in February and continued to increase every week over the tournament – even before the Bulls and Stormers emerged as the tournament’s pace-setters.

“We’re seeing sustained and unprecedented levels of interest in rugby. Our players and coaches have led the way with their performances on the field.

“Supporters like to follow successful teams and associate with winners and our teams have certainly been that.”

Mr Hoskins added that the emphasis law makers had placed on interpretations to encourage ball-in-hand play and cut down on scrum resets, improving the quality of rugby had had an impact.

The audience for the final was 55per cent higher than last year’s final and 28per cent higher than the Sharks and Bulls final in 2007.


Thirty-one matches had audiences of more than half a million viewers compared to only 13 in 2009.

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