Vodacom Super 14
Record audience for S14 final
Pierre Spies kisses the Super 14 trophy (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - The Bulls' victory in the Super 14 final in Soweto not only broke down all boundaries by becoming the biggest rugby game ever to take place in a township, but it broke all television records as well.
Figures released on Thursday by BMI Sport Info, South Africa’s leading independent sport and sponsorship Research Company, show that rugby made significant inroads into the black population, with black viewers accounting for almost 30 percent of the total viewing audience.
According to the latest AR viewership figures, a new record viewing audience of 2.9 million South Africans of 16 years and older watched the final between the Bulls and Stormers at Orlando Stadium on television this weekend.
This massive improvement was more than double the 1.4 million viewers that watched the final in 2009 between the Bulls and Chiefs.
The historical significance of the game prompted SABC to also broadcast the game live, and it had an immediate effect on viewership, tapping a new wealth of rugby fans. The total recorded audience was also considerably higher than the 950 000 adults who watched the Bulls semi-final clash the week before.
Around 60 percent of fans watched the match on SABC2 and 40% on SuperSport allowing for a significant growth in black viewership, which increased by 127% this year compared to the 2009 Super 14 final. The total black viewership was over 840 000, almost 30 percent of the total audience and a significant boost to the sport in the country.
“These amazing figures show there is a significant support base for rugby amongst black viewers and the historic move to use Orlando Stadium for the semi-finals and final of the Super 14 was a positive move,” BMI’s Johan Grobler said about the figures.
“And the growth wasn’t only amongst black South Africans, as there was also a significant jump among female viewers – with figures increasing 140% from those in the 2009 finals. For the first time ladies outnumbered the men by accounting for 51 percent of the viewers.” All of this bodes well for Vodacom as sponsor of both teams as well as the Super14 tournament.
Clearly the success of the Bulls semi-final win over the Crusaders and the excitement and hype surrounding the final in Soweto, along with the mouth-watering clash between two of the oldest South African rivals, played a major part.
Despite the record viewership represented by the TAMS rating, according to BMI’s James Monteith the actual audience figure is much higher, if you take into account the social aspect of watching a massive final together with friends.
"Out of Home viewing by people with no private access to a TV or purely because it’s more fun watching at a venue with friends, can add substantially to the total audience,” Monteith said.
“This can add an additional 50% to the audience for events with no broadcast on free to air TV, and between 23% to 35% for events that are broadcast on free to air TV. With out of home viewing added to the recorded television audiences, the total number that watched the final is likely closer to 3.7 million adults.
BMI Sport Info has been involved in research into sport and sponsorships in SA and Africa for over 20 years and have developed unique databases and evaluation tools used by nearly all of SA leading sponsor companies.