The Premier League is back, coming as a welcome relief to clubs and supporters around the world and the interest in the return among fans across the country is evident in the viewing figures released by both Sky Sports and BBC.
Project restart launched last Wednesday with Manchester City taking on Arsenal in the first of the 92 remaining Premier League game. The highly anticipated fixture between City and the Gunners reached a peak audience of 3.4 million people, as the first behind-closed-doors Premier League fixture between Aston Villa and Sheffield United reached an audience of 2.7 million.
Sky also revealed an increase in viewers on their digital platforms attracting 12 million views of Premier League videos in under 24 hours, while figures released by mobile network operator O2 reported a nationwide spike in data traffic with a 13 per cent increase in data minutes before the 8pm kick off between City and Arsenal.
Of the remaining fixtures, Sky will show 64, BT has 20 and BBC and Amazon Prime will showcase four games each. Viewing figures are set to be broken with the games coming thick and fast, as the backlog of matches have been crammed into just six weeks.
Bournemouth’s defeat by Crystal Palace was one of four matches broadcast on BBC last Saturday evening, the first of its kind since 1988. The pinnacle of the viewership saw the tie watched by 3.9 million people which declined to an average of 3.6 million across the full 90 minutes. Though, the figures are yet to include the BBC’s iPlayer service, so figures are yet to rise.
Sunday's Merseyside derby, has became most watched Premier League game ever in Britain. Although, the goalless draw may not have been the most entertaining of matches, viewership peaked at 5.5 million across Sky channels, averaging 5 million viewers. Broken down, 1.9 million viewers tuned in via Sky Pick, while 3.9 million viewers watched on subscription Sky Sports channels.
Sky Pick is a free service for non-subscribed members, so they’re not left out on the action. Sky tried to connect fans virtually to their friends and celebrity fans through their Watchalong and Fanzone service. Watchalong enabled fans to watch the champions elect and their bitter rivals battle it out alongside Tony Bellew, Adam Smith, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Joe Thomlinson.
Author: James Parker