With the Rugby World Cup well underway, and England hosting for the second time in its 27 year history, it seems rugby fever is taking over the capital. This might not be the case for all after a devastating weekend for the hosts, but TFL has certainly taken on its role in a big way, not only with getting people back and forth between stadiums, but delivering live updates and scores on the digital information boards across 180 stations. My commute over the past few weeks has been filled with an atmosphere of excitement and expectation each morning, heading into the Underground at Waterloo surrounded by the MasterCard Priceless campaign which wraps the walls; ‘turning the world oval’ for ‘#44daysofcrazy’, accompanied by the echo of Will Greenwood’s voice advising me to plan my travel ahead of match day. Along with this hype, we’ve all seen the heart-warming BFG inspired advert, which is also spread across the digital screens on the Underground, where at the end of my journey to work I’m greeted by the ‘giants’ animated faces on game days up the Leicester Square escalators.
The kick off match between England & Fiji, which followed a sparkling Opening Ceremony brought an average of 7.8 million viewers to ITV. The sport is dominating the channel throughout the 6 weeks, and these statistics make it the most watched sporting event this year. However, after being named the first host nation to not make it through the group stages and with 24 days still to go, it will be interesting to see what cost this comes at.