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Live Sport dominates top 20 programmes of 2021 as Virgin Media Television delivers record year

Live Sport dominates top 20 programmes of 2021 as Virgin Media Television delivers record year

Live Sport dominated the top 20 most watched programmes of 2021 on Virgin Media Television, in a year which saw the Virgin Media Television record its highest ever share of viewing for adults, younger viewers (15 - 44-year-olds) and smashed previous streaming records.

New viewing figures shows Virgin Media Television’s share of viewing for adults 15+ at 19.1%, (+9% YoY); with 15-44s at 16.9%, (+4% YoY) and the Virgin Media Player breaking all previous records with over 45.5 million streams in 2021 (4 million streams higher than the previous record).

13 out of the top 20 most watched programmes across Virgin Media Television in 2021 were live sporting events, including 11 ‘Guinness Six Nations’ games. The Ireland vs. France fixture in the ‘Guinness Six Nations’ topped the list, when France claimed their first victory in Dublin for 10 years with a hard fought 15-13 win over Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

The ‘UEFA Champions League Final’ comes in at No.15 on Saturday 29th May, which saw Chelsea beat fellow Premier League giants Manchester City at the Estádio do Dragão in Portugal. This is followed by the ‘UEFA Europa League Final’ at No.16, as David de Gea's missed penalty consigned Manchester United to a dramatic 11-10 penalty shootout defeat against Villarreal on 26th May. This was the best performing Europa League Final of the past 10 years.

The sixth most watched programme of the year was the final of ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ which aired on 12th December and saw former Emmerdale star Danny Miller crowned King of the Castle.

‘Virgin Media News at 5.30pm’ comes in at No. 14 with an historic ratings high for the bulletin, when on 6th January the Irish government announced further lockdown measures including the closure of all schools, and in the USA, rioters ran through the Capitol Building.

Virgin Media Television's award-winning documentary ‘Finding Jack Charlton’ was the 19th most watched. The documentary told the poignant story of the life of sporting legend Jack Charlton and his previously untold battle with Dementia. The documentary also formed part of Virgin Media Television's ‘Donate for Dementia’ fundraiser week which raised €1 million for The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.

‘Love Island’ takes the 20th spot, as Laura Whitmore introduced a new batch of singletons all looking for love, with Liam and Millie crowned the 2021 winners.

Bill Malone, Director of Content, Virgin Media Television said:

"2021 has been a stand-out year for Virgin Media Television with a record share of viewing for adults and younger viewers (15–44-year-olds). 2021 was also a year when our free Virgin Media Player broke all previous records with over 45.5 million streams with box sets of top drama, reality and true crime proving particularly popular. It is no surprise, with the breadth and quality of Live Sport on VMTV, that it took the top spots again this year, and it is also heartening to see the diversity of programming across news, documentary, drama and entertainment feature so prominently in our Top 20 for 2021, especially Irish programming like our 5.30 News and the documentary Finding Jack Charlton.”

"And our plans for 2022 kicked-off in earnest on day one with the launch of the new series of The Masked Singer on January 1st, new gripping drama The Tower on January 3rd and the return of The Tonight Show on January 5th."