26 February 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
Video-on-demand streams increased by 158% on TG4 player in 2020
18 Jan 2021 : Nathan Griffin
The Irish language broadcaster, which is more watched than BBC Two, Virgin Media Three, and Channel 4 in Ireland, also retained its position as the 6th most watched TV channel in Ireland in 2020.

This comes after TG4 successfully moved up one place from 7th place in 2019 where it had ranked since 2014.

“None of us have seen a year like 2020,” said Director General of TG4, Alan Esslemont. “It was a year of loneliness, confusion, bewilderment, and sadness, but it was also a year of humanitarian and public service achievements. In the media, we look back on 2020 as the year that brought about the huge acceleration of nonlinear digital media.

Video-on-demand streams increased by 158% on TG4 player in 2020 compared to 2019. The most-watched streamed programme on the TG4 player was the documentary Liam O’Flynn -Píobaire. Streams of TG4 on the RTÉ Player increased by 38% in 2020, while the Cúla4 player streams increased also by 34% last year.

Social media views also grew by 60% in 2020, with a total of 36m video views for the year.

3.665m people or 83% of the population watched TG4 at some stage during 2020. The average viewing share for 2020 was 1.83%, and there was a 3% increase in primetime share from 2019 to 1.92%. October was the highest month in terms of audience share. The station had an all-day Share of 2.26% during the month. The highest single-day reach in 2020 was 770,000 on December 20th.

GAA BEO‘s coverage of the AIB Club Football Final between Galway’s Corofin and Down’s Kilcoo was the most-watched programme on TG4 in 2020. The game had the highest audience reach at 480,600, an average audience of 177,200 viewers, and a 17.6% share of the viewing audience at the time. The 20th TG4 LGFA Football final Peil na mBan Beo, which took place on December 20th, was the second most-watched programme on TG4 last year. It drew an average audience of 169,900 and had a share of 21.2%.

The Christmas Day broadcast of The Dubliners – The Parting Glass was the most-watched programme on TG4 on Christmas Day since 2009. It had an audience of 156,600 and a share of 11.3%. John Sheahan’s 80th Birthday Live from Vicar St., which aired on TG4 on St. Patrick’s Day, was also a huge hit with viewers with 123,200 on average tuned in to watch the concert.

“I would like to pay tribute to the in-house staff of TG4 and all the independent producers who work with us,” continued Esslemont. “Together as a team, we have been very successful in meeting audience demand and strengthening TG4‘s personality and brand at home and around the world. We are very grateful to the Government for their additional support in Budget 2021. This will help us reboot TG4 this year and we will work to convince the Future of Media Commission that the media ecosystem in Ireland should be radically reimagined from 2022 onwards.”

Documentaries form the backbone of TG4’s schedule and they drew large audiences again in 2020. The most-watched documentary in 2020 was Liam O’Flynn – Píobaire, which told the story of a master of the uilleann pipes Liam O’Flynn, was watched by an audience of 81,500 on Easter Sunday. Laochra Gael – Iggy Clarke, which told the story of Fr. Iggy, was the second most-watched documentary last year. Iggy was the rock in Galway’s hurling half-back line in the ’70s. The documentary was watched by 74,200 people and had a share of 9.5%.

Click here for more information about the growing influence of the VoD market in the Irish film & television industry.

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