Wed Oct 01 14:13:31 SAST 2014

A Soweto affair - Derby scores highest viewer ratings

Apr 1, 2012 | DAVID ISAACSON |

THE derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates two weeks ago smashed TV records, even topping Bafana's three World Cup matches in 2010.

SHARPSHOOTER: Benni McCarthy of Orlando Pirates celebrates his second goal during his side's Absa Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium, which attracted a massive audience. Picture by Gallo Images

The contest, in which Benni McCarthy scored twice to steer Buccaneers to a 3-2 win, bagged 1.58million viewers on SuperSport 4 (the pay station's domestic soccer channel), according to research company Repucom.

Bafana's three World Cup games attracted around 1.24million viewers.

But when the SABC figures are added, the viewership rises to 6.26million, making those three 2010 Bafana games remain top of the pops.

The spectacles against Uruguay and Mexico exceeded 10million viewers (10.15million and 10.06million respectively), while the dead-rubber match against France drew 9.43million.

The MTN8 showdown between Chiefs and Pirates last year is fourth with 7.29million viewers.

Meanwhile, South Africans' interest in soccer has dropped slightly since the 2010 World Cup.

The latest Branded AMPS figures for level of interest show that soccer captivated 50.7% of the nation in 2010, but this dipped to 49.4% last year.

Rugby and cricket, both with World Cup events last year, enjoyed increases - rugby is now 20.6% and cricket 20.4%.

Dancing (18.9%) is fourth, ahead of boxing and wrestling (15.2%), walking and hiking (13.1%), basketball and netball (12.6%), swimming (12.3%), pool/snooker/billiards (12.1%), athletics (10.5%), tennis (9.9%), jogging (8.5%) and golf (7.3%).

The AMPS research was based on 15-year-olds and older - 34million in 2010 compared to nearly 35million last year.

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