Get set for Championship's biggest year yet

Calcutta Cup
The new year always ushers in the promise of something bigger and better.

None more so than the 2024 Guinness Six Nations – the first major sporting event in the calendar.

There are few events that drive the same level of anticipation as the Championship, with fans emerging from the January blues to gather with friends, plan weekends away to follow their team, study the team sheets, make their fantasy rugby selections – and, of course, reignite friendly rivalries.

These are not just sporting fixtures any more: they are cultural moments that are pulling in more and more fans each year. The 2023 Championship delivered on this and shone a light on the growth the sport can generate, and how anticipation for the Guinness Six Nations turns into sustained attention from fans, new and old.

The recipe for the Guinness Six Nations is simple: six teams, five rounds and fifteen matches to determine a Championship winner – and, if they win every game, the Grand Slam winner. However, each year the competition manages to deliver unpredictable and compelling storylines that captivate audiences across the globe.

Through comprehensive broadcast coverage, spanning 209 international territories, the 2023 Championship reached over 121 million viewers who tuned in to watch the action unfold. Audience attention and engagement also focused on the Six Nation Rugby social and digital channels, sustaining a year on year increase in numbers.

Fans were responsible for 737 million content views across platforms: a 239% increase on the previous year and contributing to 1.17 billion social impressions. Audience demand for highlights footage led to over 1.1million hours of highlights content being consumed on YouTube and drove 23% more traffic to the Six Nations Rugby website, and a 13% increase in Fantasy Rugby players.

The appetite for content that takes fans closer to the action and tell the stories at the heart of the game, including its players, is only increasing. The response from Six Nations Rugby is to continually innovate and deliver engaging experiences for fans that centre on fascinating storytelling that can connect fans to the game and its personalities.

A major step in this direction came with Netflix cameras being embedded within each of the six unions over the course of the 2023 campaign, introducing an international audience to the Six Nations as they have never seen it before. It stands to take things up another level in 2024.

It was recently announced that Guinness would be increasing its presence in the game by enhancing its partnership with Six Nations Rugby – including the women’s Championship being renamed the Guinness Women’s Six Nations.

Numbers that point to audience growth are one element to indicate the prosperity of the game and its ability to engage fans. It is the ambition to bring fans alongside the stars of the game that can drive even deeper engagement in the years to come, and act as a powerful lever to deliver sustained growth of the global game.

The Guinness Six Nations continues to command a unique place on the sports and entertainment landscape. Each year, fans are guaranteed unmissable action thanks to some of the best rugby players and teams on the planet. This will be truer than ever in 2024.