Nielsen Sports SA Reports a Significant Increase in Viewership of the 2023 Rugby World Cup

The Springboks have won the Rugby World Cup for a historic fourth time, breaking the world record as the team to win the most World Cup tournaments ever. Following the team’s victory tour around the country, Nielsen Sports SA TV viewership insights note another victory for the national team – and rugby in general – with significant increases in viewership numbers across four linear TV channels.

Nielsen’s Rugby World Cup audience report, which utilises BRC TAMS (Broadcast Media Council Television Audience Measurement) data, shows that the final match of the RWC 2023 attracted a staggering 10.9 million unique home-based live viewers across four linear TV channels for the Rugby World Cup Final. This figure represents a 26% increase compared to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final. It’s also worth noting that this number does not account for those who gathered at fan parks for an out-of-home viewing experience, which would make the impressive total substantially higher than the recorded figure.

The spike in viewership is not entirely unprecedented, but it does speak to international rugby as a growth area in local sports viewership.

Tumelo Selikane, Managing Director of Nielsen Sports SA, comments, “The Springboks’ Rugby World Cup victory was a historic achievement, showcasing their excellence and teamwork. The significant growth in viewership numbers, when compared to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2019 Rugby World Cups, highlights the sport’s increasing fandom in our country.”

The 2023 Nielsen Fan Insights Rugby Fan Report expands on rugby fandom’s growing power and appeal to all stakeholders looking to connect with the market. Remarkably, according to Nielsen Sports SA data, The Rugby World Cup as a sporting event enjoys top levels of interest – in excess of 86% amongst multiple South African sports fans.

Fans exhibiting this level of interest (or higher) in the Rugby World Cup include basketball fans, running fans, cricket fans, cycling fans, rugby fans, motorsport fans, padel fans and golf fans. Interestingly, 85% of local football fans indicate a Top 2 level of interest in the prestigious event.

Selikane concludes, “In the spirit of celebrating the World Cup victory, the 2023 Nielsen Fan Insights Rugby Fan Report is now available for sale at a discounted deal. I need to emphasise that the report is a valuable resource for brands and rightsholders, helping them tailor their strategies to reach specific target audiences, understand rugby fans and engage with them effectively, making it a win-win for both the sports community and businesses as a whole.”

 To purchase and get immediate access to the full Nielsen Fan Insights Rugby Report and learn more about sports fans’ attitudes and behaviours, contact


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