Bulls star Canan Moodie against Stormers via team X

Bulls star Canan Moodie against Stormers. Image: @BullsRugby via X.

Stormers-Bulls derby is the URC’s golden goose

The URC has set a new all-time record audience with a global viewership of just under 3 million tuning in across Round 8, which included the North-South derby in Cape Town.

Bulls star Canan Moodie against Stormers via team X

Bulls star Canan Moodie against Stormers. Image: @BullsRugby via X.

Following on from last season’s record viewership for a single campaign (37.4million) fans are continuing to watch the URC in greater numbers as the tightest race for the playoffs has begun.

Coming off the back of two record rounds of attendance in R8 and R9 (held over December and January), the league’s total viewership for the season is also tracking at double-digit growth thanks to new rivalries, the league’s level of competitiveness and the jeopardy attached to the playofff race.

Additionally, at the mid-season point 51% of URC games have resulted in a winning margin of 7 or less points which is up from the season averages of 34% in the past two years. In figures verified by Nielsen audience data, a total of 2,978,611 tuned in across Round 8 where some of the URC’s biggest derby matches took place.


Games in Limerick and Cape Town drew the greatest interest during Round 8 with the Cape Town clash between the Stormers and Bulls totalling 685,243 viewers across all territories.

Not far behind that, the Irish derby match-up between Munster and Leinster on December 26 drew an audience of 639,343 across all territories – the game also drew a peak live audience of 537,300.

Between Rounds 3 and 9, five of those weekends accounted for at least 2.5million viewers each, ranking them amongst some of the highest viewed in the league’s history.

The addition of Sky Italia to the URC’s broadcast partners has also brought with it a welcome increase of viewership of the league’s Italian teams. Benetton have seen their audience grow by 129% and Zebre Parma are up 39%.

The growth in TV audiences is matched by an increase in attendances to date while the league’s social media following has also grown by 9% since the beginning of the season.

URC showdown between Bulls and Stormers
The Stormers against the Bulls. Photo: SA Rugby website