Brilliant TV audiences revealed for the World Cup so far as chief Jon Dutton gives ticket update for England-France clash 

THE World Cup is certainly making waves in rugby league and outside the sport in recent days and weeks. 

With a conglomerate of different cultures, teams and languages all being portrayed on the BBC and in sports stadia across the country, the feelgood factor surrounding the sport has certainly been increasing. 

Now, RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton has revealed just how many people have been tuning in to watch the fixtures on the BBC. 

“The total collective match audience so far is 3.8million, that will grow because that doesn’t yet include the digital side of the audience,” explained Dutton. 

“The audience share for our opening game (England v Samoa on BBC One) was 22 percent and that is incredibly high. We are off to a flying start.” 

Dutton was also quick to point out that having games in areas where rugby league is perhaps ‘untapped’ has been key to producing new fans. 

“From a spectator perspective,” he added. “We’ve already had just under 100,000 come through the turnstiles in the first week. 

“The stat that really stands out to me is that 55 percent of those inside St James’ Park on Saturday were from the North East. That is quite staggering and shows how these major events can attract a new audience. 

“We also saw a real rush of tickets being bought on Saturday night and are now approaching a sell-out for England’s next game [against France] at Bolton [on Saturday].