Prior to England’s emphatic 30-6 win over Australia on Saturday, pubs had noted a sales increase of 4% from last year’s autumn fixtures.
The later England kick-off on the opening weekend saw an initial decline in sales between 1pm and 3pm, however beer sales between 3pm – when England vs Argentina got underway - and the final whistle of France vs New Zealand at 10pm increased by 9%.
This figure is even more impressive given the far higher profile matches that marked the opening weekend of last year’s Autumn Internationals – England v South Africa and Scotland v Australia as opposed to this year’s line-up of England v Argentina and Scotland v Samoa. Neither Saturday featured Premier League football.
Terrestrial pubs also saw a 2% increase thanks to Wales v Australia kicking off later in the day – highlighting the sustained interested in watching international rugby at the pub.
Overall, the opening Saturday of Autumn Internationals saw huge numbers searching for rugby on MatchPint – second only to the number of pub-goers searching for Anthony Joshua v Carlos Takam since September.
MatchPint head of operations Robert Stewart said: “Watching rugby in the pub has become a social norm in the UK.
“We constantly see international rugby as one of the most popular events on MatchPint, and our previous research has shown that rugby fans spend 17% more than your average punter on a visit to the pub.”
Vianet product manager Mark Fewster said: “The results clearly show that while the sales started slower than last year, the staggered line up ensured that by the time the final whistle of the day went, it was a better opening weekend than last year.”
“Live sport continues to provide a huge boost to beer sales for operators, and with two huge weekends of matches still to come there are plenty of chances to make the most of it.”
MatchPint was used by 1.6 million people to find a pub in 2016 with more than 2,000 pubs across Stonegate, Greene King, Fullers, Enterprise and Punch Tavern stables using it to drive their business.