United Rugby Championship

A forum for true blue Leinster supporters to talk about and support their team

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Oldschool
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Oldschool »

wixfjord wrote: August 17th, 2022, 7:02 pm URC viewing figures from last season show the TV crowds the SA teams bring and the draw of Munster.

Pretty poor showing for our viewing figures I must say. I've said this before but I really think we are underperforming in terms of bringing in fans (both into stadium and from the sofa/high stool).
Top 10 most watched regular-season games in 2021/22

R3 Ospreys v Cell C Sharks 580,026
R3 Cardiff v Vodacom Bulls 560,886
R2 Munster v DHL Stormers 538,909
R6 Cell C Sharks v Scarlets 531,421
R10 Munster v Ulster 523,707
R4 Munster v Connacht 521,110
R1 Munster v Cell C Sharks 484,267
R5 Ospreys v Munster 480,652
R4 Ulster v Emirates Lions 468,993
R4 Dragons v DHL Stormers 445,471

Top 5 Games from Ireland

R2 Munster v DHL Stormers 538,909
R10 Munster v Ulster 523,707
R4 Munster v Connacht 521,110
R1 Munster v Cell C Sharks 484,267
R4 Ulster v Emirates Lions 468,993

Top 5 Derby Audiences (league-wide)

R10 Munster v Ulster 523,707
R4 Munster v Connacht 521,110
R16 Ulster v Munster 428,709
R15 Munster v Leinster 402,534
R6 Leinster v Ulster 401,603
All on RTE2
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by wixfjord »

the spoofer wrote: August 18th, 2022, 11:40 am

Watching Leinster wrack up 30/40 point wins over most other teams isn't exactly going to pull the crowds in.
So the reason we don't attract more TV viewers and fairweather fans is we're too good?

Not sure I buy that.

A successful, constantly winning team like we have been over the last few years should be able to attract far more attention and fans from outside the normal circle, particularly on TV.
allezlesverres wrote: August 18th, 2022, 10:48 am There's probably also a demographic issue for the home supporters - a lot of the Ulster and Leinster fanbase live within easy reach of the stadium so will watch games live (hence relatively full RDS and Ravenhill) whereas Munster supporters are maybe spread out a bit more so might watch on TV rather than take the trip to Thomond (hence the often half full Thomond (albeit Thomond a bit bigger than RDS or Ravenhill)).
That would be fair, except we don't have relatively full RDS unfortunately, which is a linked issue. Our crowds aren't good. We've only managed above 15k five times this season, and none of these have been RDS games.

We had less than 9.5k show up for a league QF and 11.5k show up for a SF (granted the caveat of Europe trips & occasions, but still...).

When you add that to the viewing figures, it doesn't paint a great picture of a strong engaged fan base outside the 10-15k or so hardcores that we've had for a decade.
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ronk
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by ronk »

Ospreys had the highest TV audience.

Leinster's biggest league fixture was the week before the HC Final. Was the audience down because of that or because Leinster's support has declined?
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by cormac »

wixfjord wrote: August 18th, 2022, 12:36 pm
the spoofer wrote: August 18th, 2022, 11:40 am

Watching Leinster wrack up 30/40 point wins over most other teams isn't exactly going to pull the crowds in.
So the reason we don't attract more TV viewers and fairweather fans is we're too good?

Not sure I buy that.

A successful, constantly winning team like we have been over the last few years should be able to attract far more attention and fans from outside the normal circle, particularly on TV.
allezlesverres wrote: August 18th, 2022, 10:48 am There's probably also a demographic issue for the home supporters - a lot of the Ulster and Leinster fanbase live within easy reach of the stadium so will watch games live (hence relatively full RDS and Ravenhill) whereas Munster supporters are maybe spread out a bit more so might watch on TV rather than take the trip to Thomond (hence the often half full Thomond (albeit Thomond a bit bigger than RDS or Ravenhill)).
That would be fair, except we don't have relatively full RDS unfortunately, which is a linked issue. Our crowds aren't good. We've only managed above 15k five times this season, and none of these have been RDS games.

We had less than 9.5k show up for a league QF and 11.5k show up for a SF (granted the caveat of Europe trips & occasions, but still...).

When you add that to the viewing figures, it doesn't paint a great picture of a strong engaged fan base outside the 10-15k or so hardcores that we've had for a decade.
It's not that we're too good, it's that a number of the games we play in are deemed to be uncompetitive. Same thing happened in the Leinster Football Championship. As Dublin improved out of sight and started hammering all and sundry, the crowds at their games declined, despite the fact that they were probably the best Dublin team of all time.
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the spoofer
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by the spoofer »

wixfjord wrote: August 18th, 2022, 12:36 pm
the spoofer wrote: August 18th, 2022, 11:40 am

Watching Leinster wrack up 30/40 point wins over most other teams isn't exactly going to pull the crowds in.
So the reason we don't attract more TV viewers and fairweather fans is we're too good?

Not sure I buy that.

A successful, constantly winning team like we have been over the last few years should be able to attract far more attention and fans from outside the normal circle, particularly on TV.
allezlesverres wrote: August 18th, 2022, 10:48 am There's probably also a demographic issue for the home supporters - a lot of the Ulster and Leinster fanbase live within easy reach of the stadium so will watch games live (hence relatively full RDS and Ravenhill) whereas Munster supporters are maybe spread out a bit more so might watch on TV rather than take the trip to Thomond (hence the often half full Thomond (albeit Thomond a bit bigger than RDS or Ravenhill)).
That would be fair, except we don't have relatively full RDS unfortunately, which is a linked issue. Our crowds aren't good. We've only managed above 15k five times this season, and none of these have been RDS games.

We had less than 9.5k show up for a league QF and 11.5k show up for a SF (granted the caveat of Europe trips & occasions, but still...).

When you add that to the viewing figures, it doesn't paint a great picture of a strong engaged fan base outside the 10-15k or so hardcores that we've had for a decade.
Put it this way, I'm a season ticket holder for over 20 years. It's hard to drag my ass to the RDS on a Friday evening at 7.30 to watch Leinster put 30 points on Cardiff when I can sit down and open a €9 bottle of red from Lidl and watch it from my favourite chair. I'm in the committed category so it must be harder to get the casual fan through the gates.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by wixfjord »

ronk wrote: August 18th, 2022, 1:02 pm Ospreys had the highest TV audience.

Leinster's biggest league fixture was the week before the HC Final. Was the audience down because of that or because Leinster's support has declined?
Well, Sharks had the biggest TV audience really right?

We can pick out specific games and give reasons as to why our crowds were low or our TV ratings aren't high.

But it's not a one off issue that we see relatively low home crowds AND TV viewership that's not league topping, so we should be asking questions about that.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by wixfjord »

cormac wrote: August 18th, 2022, 1:03 pm

It's not that we're too good, it's that a number of the games we play in are deemed to be uncompetitive. Same thing happened in the Leinster Football Championship. As Dublin improved out of sight and started hammering all and sundry, the crowds at their games declined, despite the fact that they were probably the best Dublin team of all time.
That's an interesting example to pick as the only other borderline pro team with a significant fanbase based in Leinster.

Dublin have still managed to consistently generate crowds of 30k plus for meaningless league & Leinster champ games AND consistently generate crowds of 65k+ for more important games.

I appreciate it can be boring to see a team beating poor opposition, and that gives some reason why we get low RDS crowds.

It doesn't explain the low RDS crowds for bigger league games and what seems to be sub par TV audiences.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by wixfjord »

the spoofer wrote: August 18th, 2022, 2:29 pm
wixfjord wrote: August 18th, 2022, 12:36 pm
the spoofer wrote: August 18th, 2022, 11:40 am

Watching Leinster wrack up 30/40 point wins over most other teams isn't exactly going to pull the crowds in.
So the reason we don't attract more TV viewers and fairweather fans is we're too good?

Not sure I buy that.

A successful, constantly winning team like we have been over the last few years should be able to attract far more attention and fans from outside the normal circle, particularly on TV.
allezlesverres wrote: August 18th, 2022, 10:48 am There's probably also a demographic issue for the home supporters - a lot of the Ulster and Leinster fanbase live within easy reach of the stadium so will watch games live (hence relatively full RDS and Ravenhill) whereas Munster supporters are maybe spread out a bit more so might watch on TV rather than take the trip to Thomond (hence the often half full Thomond (albeit Thomond a bit bigger than RDS or Ravenhill)).
That would be fair, except we don't have relatively full RDS unfortunately, which is a linked issue. Our crowds aren't good. We've only managed above 15k five times this season, and none of these have been RDS games.

We had less than 9.5k show up for a league QF and 11.5k show up for a SF (granted the caveat of Europe trips & occasions, but still...).

When you add that to the viewing figures, it doesn't paint a great picture of a strong engaged fan base outside the 10-15k or so hardcores that we've had for a decade.
Put it this way, I'm a season ticket holder for over 20 years. It's hard to drag my ass to the RDS on a Friday evening at 7.30 to watch Leinster put 30 points on Cardiff when I can sit down and open a €9 bottle of red from Lidl and watch it from my favourite chair. I'm in the committed category so it must be harder to get the casual fan through the gates.
It's definitely not easy, but if you look at Munster for eg (who's fans we rightly love to laugh at), on a pro rata basis they arguable get better consistent crowds and seemingly get better TV ratings, despite consistently poor performances.

I just think LR could be doing more and better to bring in more fans and build the brand.

(Maybe part of it is the facilities in the RDS too.)
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Laighin Break »

It would be interesting to see some sort of breakdown by time of day and day of week, to see if there are specific slots that attract more viewers
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Keith »

wixfjord wrote: August 18th, 2022, 2:55 pm
cormac wrote: August 18th, 2022, 1:03 pm

It's not that we're too good, it's that a number of the games we play in are deemed to be uncompetitive. Same thing happened in the Leinster Football Championship. As Dublin improved out of sight and started hammering all and sundry, the crowds at their games declined, despite the fact that they were probably the best Dublin team of all time.
That's an interesting example to pick as the only other borderline pro team with a significant fanbase based in Leinster.

Dublin have still managed to consistently generate crowds of 30k plus for meaningless league & Leinster champ games AND consistently generate crowds of 65k+ for more important games.

I appreciate it can be boring to see a team beating poor opposition, and that gives some reason why we get low RDS crowds.

It doesn't explain the low RDS crowds for bigger league games and what seems to be sub par TV audiences.
I too can appreciate that beating teams easily can become unattractive, but we aren't even selling out for group games in Europe. It's been very easy to get tickets for HC games for years, in the RDS and it will only get easier as the group games get more irrelevant with each format change.

To be a bit more positive, it was impressive how many tickets we shifted in less than a week for the Toulouse game. I don't think there's many clubs in world rugby that can do that.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Keith »

wixfjord wrote: August 18th, 2022, 12:36 pm
the spoofer wrote: August 18th, 2022, 11:40 am

Watching Leinster wrack up 30/40 point wins over most other teams isn't exactly going to pull the crowds in.
So the reason we don't attract more TV viewers and fairweather fans is we're too good?

Not sure I buy that.

A successful, constantly winning team like we have been over the last few years should be able to attract far more attention and fans from outside the normal circle, particularly on TV.
allezlesverres wrote: August 18th, 2022, 10:48 am There's probably also a demographic issue for the home supporters - a lot of the Ulster and Leinster fanbase live within easy reach of the stadium so will watch games live (hence relatively full RDS and Ravenhill) whereas Munster supporters are maybe spread out a bit more so might watch on TV rather than take the trip to Thomond (hence the often half full Thomond (albeit Thomond a bit bigger than RDS or Ravenhill)).
That would be fair, except we don't have relatively full RDS unfortunately, which is a linked issue. Our crowds aren't good. We've only managed above 15k five times this season, and none of these have been RDS games.

We had less than 9.5k show up for a league QF and 11.5k show up for a SF (granted the caveat of Europe trips & occasions, but still...).

When you add that to the viewing figures, it doesn't paint a great picture of a strong engaged fan base outside the 10-15k or so hardcores that we've had for a decade.
Some very interesting stats there. I remember us getting 16k against Treviso around 2012, which I thought was very impressive. I feel as though we are a long way off that at the minute.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Oldschool »

Post COVID, regaining momentum is always going to be an issue. Inflation is going to bite too, in terms of the casual spectator.
Perhaps a voucher for a LIDL bottle of red for every two tickets purchased might help.
Any suggestions for a suitable red would be welcome.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by heno »

Can this thread be bookmarked and referenced every time some one complains that offtheball/rte/the papers/etc all consistently give more coverage to munster rather than leinster no matter what's happening that particular week. Its almost like they knew their audience all along.

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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by riocard911 »

heno wrote: August 18th, 2022, 7:59 pm Can this thread be bookmarked and referenced every time some one complains that offtheball/rte/the papers/etc all consistently give more coverage to munster rather than leinster no matter what's happening that particular week. Its almost like they knew their audience all along.

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100%! Tis de meeja continuously giving exorbitant amounts of the oxygen (hot air) of publicity to the southern brethren that's led to those totally skewed viewing figures. That and Keith Wood saying the Ireland team needs more farmers..... :roll:
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Flash Gordon »

heno wrote: August 18th, 2022, 7:59 pm Can this thread be bookmarked and referenced every time some one complains that offtheball/rte/the papers/etc all consistently give more coverage to munster rather than leinster no matter what's happening that particular week. Its almost like they knew their audience all along.

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The previous viewership of the Pro14 was pretty small due to the channels covering the tournament. In terms of match attendances historically we were by far the best supported in the Pro14 and European Cup (across all european teams). I was very surprised at the numbers but the reality is that we haven't got back to where we were before covid so work to be done there. The good news for all teams is the massive expansion of coverage and viewership which benefits all teams when they go looking for commercial deals.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Oldschool »

riocard911 wrote: August 18th, 2022, 10:52 pm
heno wrote: August 18th, 2022, 7:59 pm Can this thread be bookmarked and referenced every time some one complains that offtheball/rte/the papers/etc all consistently give more coverage to munster rather than leinster no matter what's happening that particular week. Its almost like they knew their audience all along.

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100%! Tis de meeja continuously giving exorbitant amounts of the oxygen (hot air) of publicity to the southern brethren that's led to those totally skewed viewing figures. That and Keith Wood saying the Ireland team needs more farmers..... :roll:
Leinster don't get the media coverage that their performances and consequential status ENTITLES them to.
And therein may lie part of the problem.
Munster get far more air time than they are ENTITLED to get
But they still get it. So is their PR work much better than ours.
They have liginds and we slag them off about it. We don't have any liginds (or legends for that matter), Sean O'Brien perhaps being the closest to such a distinguished status.
Maybe it's time we got (corporately and fanatically) off our high horses(pun intended), made Rugby seem a little less elitest and started appealing more to the masses as well as to the corporate boxers (Who I hasten to add are more than welcome, long may they support)
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the greatest player of them all? It is Drico your majesty.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Serb »

Nobody is entitled to coverage. TV channels are selling a product and will cover the games that they feel will give them the highest viewership so they can sell more ads at higher rates. It's hard to argue that they've gotten it wrong based on the figures above.

Realistically, there are a large number of factors at play when considering our underperformance. If I were to take a shot at a few of them:
  • We are the most hated province outside of Leinster (and probably inside of it too) — much of that comes from the perception that we are more of a privately educated rich kid Dublin team, despite the fact that we've massively expanded our reach throughout the province and the vast majority of players from all the other provinces are also privately educated and from wealthy backgrounds. It's a perception that has been hard to shake.
  • Munster benefitted from being the first successful Irish province and produced many exciting clutch wins in that period. Watching your first national team taste success like that leaves a big impression and likely influences what game the casual rugby fan watches
  • Related to the above, we are a victim of our own success somewhat — we win nearly all of our matches which doesn't make for compelling viewing when you feel like you already know the result. Casual fans aren't going to tune in for that no matter how good the rugby on display is.
  • Our "talisman" rarely plays. This is somewhat true for all provinces, but you see it often: "I'm taking my son to see Leinster and he wants to watch Sexton play, any idea if he'll be involved?". Sexton has started 22 league games in the last 6 years, compared to 47 for Peter O'Mahony. People want to see the stars and you're more than twice as likely to see them when you watch Munster
  • Our PR / marketing / social media team is honestly dog sh!t in comparison to the other teams, especially Munster. They know their identity and produce content that reinforces that view very well, while we're still trying to shake off the "ladyboys" tagline
Honestly, the list goes on, but there are a lot of facts to face there and a lot of it is intangible and hard to rectify or correct.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by Schumi »

Keith wrote: August 18th, 2022, 5:07 pm I too can appreciate that beating teams easily can become unattractive, but we aren't even selling out for group games in Europe. It's been very easy to get tickets for HC games for years, in the RDS and it will only get easier as the group games get more irrelevant with each format change.
I don't know about that.

Last year, the Montpellier game had a restricted attendance, so we don't know what crowd would have turned up and the Lansdowne Road game was against probably the second worst team in Europe so not much of a draw.

The years pre-Covid I remember the RDS being pretty much full for the group games. Certainly Toulouse in 2019 was a sell out.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by cormac »

Schumi wrote: August 19th, 2022, 3:20 pm
Keith wrote: August 18th, 2022, 5:07 pm I too can appreciate that beating teams easily can become unattractive, but we aren't even selling out for group games in Europe. It's been very easy to get tickets for HC games for years, in the RDS and it will only get easier as the group games get more irrelevant with each format change.
I don't know about that.

Last year, the Montpellier game had a restricted attendance, so we don't know what crowd would have turned up and the Lansdowne Road game was against probably the second worst team in Europe so not much of a draw.

The years pre-Covid I remember the RDS being pretty much full for the group games. Certainly Toulouse in 2019 was a sell out.
Yep, we had 18k for the last home Euro game pre Covid against Lyon in January 2020. Only 15k for the home game v Treviso in the same season though.

18k+ for the two home Euro games in the RDS in 2018/19.

Some of the Euro home games in the RDS haven't been any more competitive than the league games but at least you get to see the best players.
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Re: United Rugby Championship

Post by wixfjord »

Schumi wrote: August 19th, 2022, 3:20 pm
Keith wrote: August 18th, 2022, 5:07 pm I too can appreciate that beating teams easily can become unattractive, but we aren't even selling out for group games in Europe. It's been very easy to get tickets for HC games for years, in the RDS and it will only get easier as the group games get more irrelevant with each format change.
I don't know about that.

Last year, the Montpellier game had a restricted attendance, so we don't know what crowd would have turned up and the Lansdowne Road game was against probably the second worst team in Europe so not much of a draw.

The years pre-Covid I remember the RDS being pretty much full for the group games. Certainly Toulouse in 2019 was a sell out.

We've had a few 18k plus crowds (Lyon, Tolouse, Wasps) for Champions Cup games in RDS. Not full, but almost.

But also quite a few 15/16k crowds (Treviso, Montpellier, Glasgow).

For league games, I don't think we've had 15k+ for a non interpro for years.

Not to be sniffed at, but certainly not growing much and given we're the only pro sports team in a relatively large city, we should be doing better than that.

The Xmas Aviva game is an occasion that usually gets 45k+ and a lot of people who are more concerned with booze than rugby. That's fine, every ticket counts.

What we've clearly failed to do is translate those irregular casual fans into more regular attendees at the RDS or indeed more regular watchers on TV.

I personally think that part of this is the stadium (RDS has 7-10k good seats that are all taken by ST holders and the facilities are not great) and part of it is marketing and comms.
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