Rugby: More than half of Japan tuned in for World Cup victory over Scotland

Fans of the Japanese team celebrate during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Japan and Scotland in Yokohama on Oct 13, 2019.
Fans of the Japanese team celebrate during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Japan and Scotland in Yokohama on Oct 13, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - More than half of Japan tuned in to watch their team's 28-21 Rugby World Cup win over Scotland on Sunday (Oct 13) that earned the Brave Blossoms a place in the knockout stage for the first time, figures released by a ratings tracker showed.

Latest estimates put Japan's population at around 127 million.

Peak audience share clocked in at 53.7 per cent of households in the Kanto greater Tokyo area and 52.2 per cent in the Kansai western Japan region for the broadcast on Nippon Television, Video Research told Reuters on Tuesday (Oct 15).

The average over the course of the match was 39.2 per cent in Kanto and 37.2 per cent in Kansai.

The peak was reached at 9:41 pm, a Video Research spokeswoman said, at the end of the match as Japan's win sealed top spot in Pool A and set up a quarter-final clash against South Africa next weekend.

That surpassed the high of 46.1 per cent reached during Japan's match against Samoa, which World Rugby had said was a record audience and local media had called the most-watched sporting event of the year in Japan.

The figures will be welcomed by World Rugby, which 10 years ago made the decision to bring the tournament to Asia for the first time, hoping to promote the sport beyond its traditional heartlands.