The opening game of the Six Nations European men's national teams' rugby union tournament brought in an average audience of 6.6 million for host broadcaster France Televisions.

The clash, between hosts France and Ireland in Marseille, which Ireland won 38-18, brought in an audience share of 32.1% for the free-to-air network, while a peak audience of 7.5 million tuned in. The France 2 channel showed the game, which took place on Friday (February 2).

This does not compare favorably to the previous game played by the men's national team, in which France lost to South Africa in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) late last year. In that game, the average audience was 16.5 million – a 62.1% audience share, for the TF1 channel. The 2023 RWC, which took place in France, was shown domestically by a combination of TF1, M6, and France TV.

The previous Six Nations clash between Ireland and France, meanwhile, last February was watched by 5.6 million viewers on France 2, a viewing share of 46.2%.

France Televisions holds Six Nations rights through a deal unveiled in May 2022, which is currently set to expire after the next year's edition of the six-team tournament (England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, and Italy).

France’s next Six Nations 2024 clash takes place on Saturday, February 10, in Scotland.

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By GlobalData