More New Zealanders have watched Rugby World Cup 2011 games live on Maori Television than any other network broadcasting the tournament.

Maori TV has attracted 1.8 million individual viewers to the eight live games they have covered to date. Their ratings for live games have also been far higher than predicted by industry specialists before the tournament.

The channel's chief executive Jim Mather said more than half a million viewers tuned into Maori TV for the first time in September.

"It seems New Zealanders enjoy watching Rugby World Cup 2011 for free and appreciate our more relaxed style."