New Zealand World Cup posts record broadcast levels

(Reuters) - Last year's rugby World Cup in New Zealand was watched by more young people and women than any previous tournament with a total increase of 60 percent in hours viewed over the 2007 edition, Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) said on Friday.

In a statement RWCL said that as well as being the most broadcast rugby World Cup ever, the final, in which the All Blacks beat France, was the most-watched event in New Zealand television history "attracting a 98 percent audience share".

Total hours of coverage jumped to 14,595.

"Significantly, viewership amongst the five-45 year age group increased by six percent from 2007, while the audience gender spilt narrowed with females accounting for 45 percent, up from 25 percent for Rugby World Cup 1995," it said.

RWCL chairman Bernard Lapasset said approximately 60 percent of World Cup revenues were generated by broadcast income.

"We are in a highly competitive sports and entertainment market and therefore it is particularly pleasing to see the average viewing age decreasing in line with our decision to fully embrace digital and social media platforms to engage with new fans and promote the tournament and Rugby worldwide," he said.

(Writing by John Mehaffey; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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