Audiences in Ireland tuned into the 2014 FIFA World Cup on RTÉ in record numbers on RTÉ Two, the RTÉ Player and RTÉ.ie.
The 56 live games averaged audiences of 335,300 viewers per match on RTÉ Two, which represents a 28% increase on the viewing figures for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The final attracted an average audience of 857,000, up 13% on 2010, with the figure peaking at 1,280,600 viewers.
The Rio de Janeiro spectacle ranks as the number one programme this year to-date across all channels available in Ireland for those in the 15-34 year-old demographic.
Germany’s extra-time victory over Argentina also marked the end of Bill O’Herlihy’s career as a mainstay of RTÉ television’s soccer coverage.
Engagement via online and mobile was at an all-time high throughout the World Cup, with streams surging to 2.5 million in total across the RTÉ Player and RTÉ.ie. By comparison, the World Cup in 2010 attracted 700,000 streams, while Euro 2012 saw the figure increase to 950,000.
Mobile or tablet devices accounted for more than one in three of these streams.
The World Cup was also the dominant presence on the RTÉ Player, with the quadrennial tournament attracting more than half of all views. Over 93% of streams were watched live on the video on-demand service.
The final and the semi-finals were the top-streamed games, with the streams for Germany’s fourth World Cup final triumph peaking at nearly 166,000.
The top goal clips watched online on RTÉ.ie's dedicated World Cup site were Golden Ball winner Lionel Messi's exquisite goal for Argentina in their 2-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina and Tim Cahill's sublime volley for Australia against the Netherlands.
Over half of the almost five million page impressions on the RTÉ Sport FIFA World Cup site (website and RTÉ News Now App) came from mobile or tablet devices.
Acting Head of RTÉ Sport Cliona O’Leary said: “It’s a source of great pride to everybody in RTÉ Sport that audiences have, once again, chosen in huge numbers to view our coverage of a major global sporting event.
“We are particularly pleased that they have followed our free-to-air programming onto the various digital platforms in such high numbers. With so many different options available to audiences these days, the record numbers watching RTÉ Sport’s coverage on television, online, mobile, and live or on-demand on RTÉ Player is a testament to the creativity and hard work of our team – both on and off-camera.
“It also provided a very fitting finale to the illustrious career of our friend and colleague Bill O’Herlihy.”