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An Unforgettable Summer Of Hurling Backed Up By TV Viewing Figures

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An unforgettable summer of hurling reaches a climax this weekend when Galway and Limerick contest the All Ireland Senior Hurling final in Croke Park on Sunday. 

The westerners are favourites with the bookies to retain their title after ending their drought last year but many pundits this week have tipped that the match could go either way.

Based on the Championship thus far, the final should be a rip-roaring affair with little between the two teams.

The new formats introduced in the Leinster and Munster hurling championship stages has led to more high-quality games which supporters have lapped up in their droves.

The increased popularity and the ability to capture the imagination of the Irish sporting public was reflected in the combined attendance of the hurling semi-finals being greater than that of the football semi-finals which were held last weekend.

This also holds true for TV viewership figures. For matches broadcast by RTÉ in both football and hurling which reached over 300,000 viewers – 10 of them came from hurling games while only five came from football games, according to figures released by RTÉ to Sport For Business.

The aggregate audience for the two hurling semi-finals was 997,000 while the equivalent two games in the Football Championship came in at 896,000, 100,000 less than the hurling.

The Top 15 GAA Championship TV Viewing Figures to August 12th 2018

1. Limerick Vs Cork 543,000 All Ireland Semi Final (Hurling)

2. Galway Vs Clare 454,000 All Ireland Semi Final (Hurling)

3. Dublin Vs Galway 449,000 All Ireland Semi Final (Football)

4. Tyrone Vs Monaghan 447,000 All Ireland Semi Final (Football)

5. Galway Vs Clare 417,000 All Ireland Semi Final Replay (Hurling)

6. Galway Vs Kilkenny 411,000 Leinster Hurling Championship

7. Monaghan Vs Kerry 397,000 All Ireland Quarter Final Series (Football)

8. Kilkenny Vs Limerick 384,000 All Ireland Quarter Final (Hurling)

9. Dublin Vs Donegal 377,000 All Ireland Quarter Final Series (Football)

10. Kilkenny Vs Galway 363,000 Leinster Hurling Final Replay

11. Cork Vs Clare 361,000 Munster Hurling Championship

12. Waterford Vs Tipperary 355,000 Munster Hurling Championship

13. Roscommon Vs Galway 351,000 Connacht Football Final

14. Kilkenny Vs Galway 347,000 Leinster Hurling Final

15. Clare Vs Limerick 324,000 Munster Hurling Championship

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email or on Twitter