Free-to-air triumphs with return of the Premier League

By 25th June 2020 No Comments

(This article first appeared in Broadcast. Words by Stephen Price)

BBC1 Premier League match well ahead of Sky, BT and Amazon

Premier League Football returned this week and the process of cramming 92 games in over a little over a month began on Wednesday. Most matches are on Sky Sports (64 live games), while BT is showing 20 and Amazon picked up four. More notably, the BBC acquired live games (four) for the first time in its history.

This week there were eleven matches in all, eight on Sky, two on BT Sports and one on BBC1 – guess which one had the highest rating.

At 4.30pm on Wednesday, the Premier League restarted off with Aston Villa v Sheffield United.

It played on Sky Sports Main Event, which, with ambient crowd noise, averaged 1.2 million/8%.  Sky Sports Premier League averaged 292,000/2% – totalling 1.5 million across the channels.

From 8pm, Manchester City v Arsenal totalled 2.6 million, comprising Sky Main Event’s 2 million/11% and Premier League’s 650k/4%.

Sky’s best total, of its eight matches was Friday’s Tottenham v Manchester United game, which totalled 2.7 million (2 million/11% on Main Event, 695,000/4% on Premier League). BT’s best was Brighton v Arsenal on Saturday from 2.45pm (726,000/9%).

However, the restarted season’s highest rating of the week was BBC1’s coverage of Bournemouth v Crystal Palace from 7.15pm, which averaged 3.3 million/20% on an historic occasion for the broadcaster.


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