Sky Sports has revealed that the 0-0 draw between Liverpool FC and Manchester United on Sunday was the network's largest ever audience for an event behind a paywall, drawing an average of 4.5 million viewers.
Within the final five minutes of the fixture, the audience viewership peaked at 4.8 million as fans flocked to see what could have been a dramatic climax for the top of the table clash between bitter rivals.
“Liverpool v Man Utd becomes the biggest ever audience for any event only on Sky Sports (surpassing 4.049 million in April 2012 for Man City v Man Utd)," read a statement from Sky Sports.
"An average of 4.5m viewers tuned into the match, peaking at 4.8m in the final five minutes.
"It becomes the second most viewed Premier League game ever in terms of average audience (second to the 4.94m viewers that tuned into the Merseyside derby in June, broadcast simultaneously on Sky One and FTA on Pick TV).
“The average audience also ranks higher than the audiences achieved for live Premier League matches on terrestrial television over the last two seasons.
“The match ranks as the second highest rated programme ever on Sky pay channels (to Game of Thrones).
“The match achieved a 25 per cent share of the total TV audience at the time, with 41 per cent of Sky customers who were watching TV at the time tuning in.”
Manchester United and Liverpool will meet again at the weekend, this time in an FA Cup fourth round clash, with the Red Devil's in pursuit of their first trophy under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Author: Jake Wilkin