TOKYO – Over 50 million people watched Japan's Rugby World Cup win over Scotland last weekend on domestic television, World Rugby said on Saturday.
The governing body said 54.8 million people tuned in for the match, which was aired on Nippon Television, and saw Japan reach the quarter-finals for the very first time with a 28-21 victory.
The viewership figures were even higher than the audience of the final of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was also held in Japan.
The level of interest in the World Cup has soared as Japan have progressed through the tournament, winning every match in their pool, including victories over tier-one nations Scotland and Ireland.
About 26 million people tuned in to watch the opener against Russia - which was then the most watched rugby match ever in Japan - and each contest has seen more people tune in on television to catch the action.