Virgin Media Television delivers Record Breaking Start to 2021

Virgin Media has unveiled its most popular viewing trends for the first three months of 2021, a quarter which saw growth in viewing across all key genres and particularly among young viewers.


In a quarter of unprecedented pandemic uncertainty, viewers have turned to Virgin Media in huge numbers across its linear channels and Virgin Media Player streaming service.  The success has been driven by a range of content across Virgin Media Television channels which enjoyed +12% share of viewing compared with the same quarter last year, for All Adults 15+.


Virgin Media Television enjoyed a stand out record for the best-ever daily average share of viewing with 35.9% of All Adults 15+ tuning in for the Guinness Six Nations Super Saturday (March 20th, 2021), including Ireland’s historic win against England, broadcast live from the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and watched by an average of 778,100 viewers.  


  • In total, 2.5 million viewers tuned in to this year’s Guinness Six Nations tournament on Virgin Media Television.  With viewers in extended level 5 restrictions, the tournament enjoyed +22% growth in average viewing figures year on year. 


The Ireland vs. France fixture was the most viewed sporting event in Q1 2021 across all channels in Ireland, averaging 798,400 viewers during match time.


  • During the quarter, Virgin Media Television smashed its previously held record daily average share of viewing for Adults aged 15-44, delivering an average 41.7% share of viewing.  


  • Super Saturday’s record share of viewing performance capped off a truly ‘Spectacular Week of Sport’ on Virgin Media Television, with more than 55 hours of live sporting action which saw over 2 million viewers tune in across the week.


  • Over 850,000 viewers tuned into Virgin Media Television’s record, best-ever performing Cheltenham Festival this year.  Viewing across the four days averaged 191,000 viewers, with two key race days averaging in excess of 213,000 viewers.


  • Viewing growth trends seen for Virgin Media News in 2020 continued into the first quarter of 2021, particularly among the younger 15-44 audience.  Collectively, the three main Virgin Media News bulletins are showing viewing growth of +52% for total audience and +60% for the 15-44 cohort, compared to Q1 last year.


  • Virgin Media Television’s Donate For Dementia fundraising week in March closed out a really successful Quarter 1 performance and raised over €1 million for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland in the process.


Across the week, one million viewers tuned into coverage across a series of live studio content shows, culminating with two heartfelt documentaries on the Sunday night “We need to talk about Dementia” and “Finding Jack Charlton”. 


To date, “We need to talk about Dementia” has been watched 215,000 times and “Finding Jack Charlton” has delivered over 415,000 views across all platforms.


Bill Malone, Director of Content at Virgin Media Television said: “It has been a particularly strong first quarter for VMTV with significant growth across our three free to air channels coinciding with the success of our revamped free Player. The “Unmissable Drama” genre and new Box Set library section of our Player has delivered over 2 million streams to date this year, featuring the best of home produced drama like Blood and acquired quality drama like Whitehouse Farm Murders and The Bay.


“Following on from such a stellar performance there is great momentum behind VMTV and so much more to look forward to. This week we start filming a major new Irish drama called “Redemption”, a co-commission between VMTV and ITV; while our recent hit format “Eating With The Enemy” has just signed an international distribution deal with All3Media.”