The power to stop a nation

27 February 2007

Today’s Irish Times has some interesting facts on the rugby match[1]

An average of over one million viewers tuned into RTÉ on Saturday to witness Ireland beat England 43-13 at Croke Park.
These average numbers (1.052 million) are remarkable: they trump the peak figures for the Ireland v France game on February 4th, the soccer World Cup final in July and the All-Ireland hurling final in September, which were all just shy of the seven-digit figures.

Seventy per cent of those watching television on Saturday tuned into the coverage, anchored by Tom McGurk, from 5.40pm to the final whistle at 7.27pm. An average audience of 535,000 watched the entire coverage from 2.30pm to 10pm.

The independent electricity system operator Eirgrid noted a decrease in demand similar to that experienced during the Ireland v Romania game at the soccer World Cup in 1990.
Because people were watching the match together in sitting rooms or public houses all over Ireland, lights or appliances in other rooms were not switched on and this meant the demand for electricity during the match was 100 megawatts less than on a normal Saturday at this time of the year.

the effect was also demonstrated by a temporary rise in demand at half-time as kettles all over the country were switched on


  1. i’ll copy and paste on account of subs being req’d

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6 Responses

  1. anne says:

    Kettles? Kettles?!

    Fridges being opened, more like. Or hopefully… ;)

  2. Fence says:

    Do not forget that this is Ireland Anne. Tea is our national drink. But I'm sure there were plenty of fridges being opened as well.

  3. anne says:

    I didn't know that. But… rugby!

  4. Fence says:

    At home we always have tea at half time during matches. There is just an argument over who has to make it.

    A cup of tea will solve all problems, from depression when you team are losing, to settling nerves when they are winning and playing well, but My God! it is only the first half, what happens if they bottle it :)

  5. fed up mag says:

    Kettles draw an awful lot of current. It's a pity everyone switches 'em on en masse at the same time.

  6. Fence says:

    Might be a pity but needs must (or summat)