Offering audiences its most comprehensive live coverage across TV, radio, online and mobile the Rugby League World Cup thrilled audiences throughout the tournament attracting a peak audience of 2.4m, the highest rugby league figure in ten years, tuning in for the opening weekend on 26th October.
Presented by Mark Chapman the BBC brought live coverage of all of England’s group games on television seeing a peak audience of 2.1m during England’s victory against Ireland on 2nd November and an impressive peak of 2.2m as England triumphed over Fiji in Hull on the 9th November.
Following England’s success to the quarter finals a peak of 1.5m saw England beat France over on BBC Two on Saturday 16 November with a peak of 2.5m watching England’s departure from the tournament with a nail biting semi-final defeat against New Zealand on Saturday 23 November. Australia’s victory over New Zealand in the final on Saturday 30 November attracted a peak audience of 1.52 million. Every match from the Rugby League World Cup was also covered live on Radio 5 Live and 5 live sports extra.
Barbara Slater, Director, BBC Sport, says: “ We are proud to have delivered top flight International rugby league action to the BBC audience and that has been reflected in the peak audience figures. Our commitment to the sport has been greater than ever, however the World Cup is just one aspect of our rugby league coverage and we look forward to building the nations interest and excitement, with further live coverage of competitions into 2014 and beyond.”
BBC Sport has committed to broadcasting live International rugby league for the next four years, including the Four Nations in 2014 and 2016 and the next World Cup in 2017.