While many of us are quite happy to consume the majority of our television at home, when it comes to the ‘big match’ – whether it’s football, rugby or perhaps boxing – then watching it in a crowded pub with a pint really builds the atmosphere.

According to Ipsos MORI’s Out of Home Viewing Panel, 2.1 million fans watch sport on TV in out of home venues, such as pubs and bars at least once a week.

This certainly seems to be the case with the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which showed a 5% increase in rugby fans searching for pubs compared with the start of the 2015 tournament.

Pub-finding app MatchPint recorded a total of 55,123 searches for pubs over the course of the 2019 tournament’s opening weekend, compared with 52,236 in 2015.

“There is clearly a strong interest from fans in watching rugby matches at the pub,” said Dom Collingwood, MatchPint co-founder.

These positive numbers come despite the early UK broadcast times of this year’s tournament, which is taking place in Japan. Apparently one London pub even turned its bar into a bedroom, so rugby fans could spend the night and be ready for the game first thing.

Sports fans don’t just visit the pub to catch the action for the atmosphere and the beer – screen size matters too. MatchPint states that having a big screen is the most important factor behind customers choosing a pub to watch sport in – ranking higher than the pub’s location, drinks range or even the price of its food and drink.

At PSE Associates, we are continuing to find that many of the pub clients we work with factor in screens when undergoing a refurbishment – particularly those which are town centre-based or have a large proportion of younger people and students among their customers.

The majority of Mitchells & Butlers remodels we’ve worked on recently for its brand O’Neill’s have included an 85” HD TV – so that when sport is shown it is on a ‘big’ screen. The Irish themed bars offer a wide range of live sporting events, including the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The chain is offering a range of breakfast options to enjoy while settling back to watch all the action. O’Neill’s also has an app, which enables rugby fans to access sporting updates, as well as order and pay the bill directly from the table – meaning you don’t lose your ‘grandstand’ seat or miss any of the action.


PSE Associates provides traditional professional Quantity Surveying and Project Management services to many brand leaders in the leisure, retail and commercial sectors.