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Kiwis almost three times more likely than Aussies to watch Rugby World Cup on TV

Sources: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2014–June 2015, samples n = 51,371 Australians 14+ and 5,983 New Zealanders 14+
The Wallabies and All Blacks haven’t met in a World Cup final before, and antipodean rugby fans will have to rise very early this Sunday to see which side will be the first to take the trophy for a third time. In Australia, around 1 in 7 people almost always or occasionally watch the Rugby World Cup on TV—but in New Zealand, the viewership rate is 2 in 5, data for Australia and New Zealand from Roy Morgan Research shows.

Just 7.4% of Australians (aged 14+) almost always watch Rugby World Cup matches on TV and another 6.8% watch occasionally (presumably when the home side is doing well!). But 27.9% of New Zealanders (14+) almost always watch, with an additional 12.2% tuning in on occasion (perhaps because the side always does well!).  

Australia has over five times the population of New Zealand, but potentially fewer than twice as many viewers overall: 2.77 million Aussies and 1.46 million Kiwis sometimes or always watch the World Cup.

Australians and New Zealanders who watch the Rugby World Cup

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2014–June 2015, samples n = 51,371 Australians 14+ and 5,983 New Zealanders 14+

In both Australia and New Zealand, 45% of Rugby World Cup viewers are aged 50 and over and only 27% are aged 14 to 34.

However in Australia, the vast bulk of viewers are men while in New Zealand the rugby audience is more gender balanced. Over 7 in 10 Australian viewers are men, compared with 55% of New Zealanders watching.

John La Rosa, General Manager Client Services - ANZ, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It is clear that the All Blacks can claim a much stronger level of support back home than can the Wallabies—and this support is more evenly distributed across demographics and geography.  

In New Zealand there is virtually no difference in the level of support between North and South, with 4 in 10 residents of either island saying they always or occasionally watch the Rugby World Cup on television. In Australia, however, there is a clear north-south divide that generally reflects overall interest in the code of Rugby compared with Aussie Rules. People in Sydney, Brisbane or Canberra are two to three times more likely to watch than those in Melbourne or Adelaide.

“Sports organisations, broadcasters, sponsors and advertisers in both countries need to understand regional variance, and track changing viewership rates across demographics and geography—especially after historic victories in international world cup events!” 

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Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%