Six Nations Rugby proves to be crowd pleaser for BBC One
LONDON - The climax of the Six Nations Rugby tournament attracted a series of bumper audiences for BBC One, with Wales' win over France attracting the biggest audience of the day on Saturday, with 5.6m viewers.
The match, in which Wales were crowned Grand Slam champions with a euphoric 29-12 victory, attracted a 26.9% share during the second half at 4.45pm, according to unofficial overnight figures. The first half of the match pulled in 5.2m viewers and a 30.3% share at 4.45pm.
Earlier in the afternoon, England's 33-10 win over Ireland brought in 4.5m viewers and a 33.2% share at 2.45pm.
Prior to the England game, Scotland's 23-10 defeat by Italy was watched by 2.5m viewers and a 24.9% at 12.30pm.
The audience figures demonstrate the huge pulling power of live televised sporting events at a time when the BBC is courting controversy following reports it is lining up a big money bid to snatch Champions League rights away from ITV and Sky.
Despite the popularity of the rugby, ITV1 earned a respectable audience for the first qualifying race of the Formula 1 season.
'F1: Australian Grand Prix Qualifying' netted 1.7m viewers and a 15.6% share at 1.15pm on Saturday afternoon, as viewers tuned in to British driver Lewis Hamilton beginning his second season in F1.
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