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TV ratings for Japan-S. Africa rugby clash hit record 41.6% in Kanto region

Japan's Michael Leitch, right, and other team members console each other after Japan was defeated by South Africa 26-3 in a Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match at Tokyo Stadium on Oct. 20, 2019. (Mainichi/Naoaki Hasegawa)

TOKYO -- The Oct. 20 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal clash between Japan and South Africa smashed the TV ratings record for the year, attracting an average 41.6% share of viewing households in the Kanto region including the Japanese capital, according to Video Research.

The game was broadcast from 7:10 p.m. to 9:26 p.m. by public broadcaster NHK. Japan was defeated by South Africa 26-3 in the Brave Blossoms' first ever quarterfinal.

The maximum instantaneous TV rating in the region stood at 49.1% at 8:55 p.m., when South Africa extended its lead against Japan to 14-3 following Handre Pollard's penalty goal in the 23rd minute of the second half.

The ratings in the Kanto region for Japan's matches grew as the team's winning streak in the tournament continued, hitting 18.3% for the Sept. 20 opening game against Russia, 22.5% for the Sept. 28 match against Ireland, 32.8% for the Oct. 5 contest against Samoa, and 39.2% for the Oct. 13 clash against Scotland.

(Japanese original by Hiroki Sasamoto, Cultural News Department)

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