Japan’s last-gasp victory over Samoa recorded the biggest-ever single-market broadcast audience.
A record peak audience share of 46.1 per cent was recorded on NTV for the victory, which put the hosts within touching distances of a first-ever quarter-final. It is believed that the live audience is the biggest of the year in Japan.
But it was not just in-home viewing that set new records – an astonishing 150,000 people attended Fanzones to watch the Brave Blossoms on Saturday, surpassing the 130,000 for Japan versus Ireland, and with more than 700,000 fans having visited Fanzones so far, the 770,000 pool phase record set at Rugby World Cup 2015 is in reach.
Meanwhile, Japan’s performances have been capturing the imagination of fans around the world with more than two million people tuning in on ITV in the UK to watch Japan play Samoa. ITV also recorded an audience share of 46 per cent as 3.2 million tuned in to England’s Pool C match against Argentina at 09:00 BST.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “This remarkable Rugby World Cup continues to gather momentum and it is exciting to see that it is attracting new fans here in Japan, as reflected by the record free-to-air audience share for Japan versus Samoa and the huge Fanzone attendances.”