Sky and BT viewing for Premier League has strong start to 2017-18 season

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October 13 – Viewing figures for Premier League football in the UK are showing a rebound in interest from the start of the season, after summer data showed that viewing figures for Sky’s Premier League coverage had slumped to their lowest point in seven years last season.

For the 2017-18 season Sky has drawn an average of 819,000 TV viewers per match, an 8% over a year earlier, according to data from Enders Analysis. BT is averaging 692,000 per match, an increase of 9%.

While viewing figures are not the most important factor behind Sky’s Premier League rights buy – which is driven by pay TV subscription metrics – they are an obvious indicator of public interest and sustainability of the audience and subscribers.

Viewing figures may have been impacted in the 2016-17 season by the Premier League missing big and heavily supported clubs Aston Villa and Newcastle United from live broadcasts. Newcastle are back in the top tier this season.

Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said: “It’s good in terms of viewing. This time last year it was down, so we’ve recovered pretty much that viewing. It’s going well.”

Sky paid £4.2 billion to show 126 live Premier League fixtures a year for three seasons from 2016/17 to 2018/19, about £10 million per game. BT paid £960 million to show 42 games per season.

All eyes will be on the new round of UK TV negotiations which are set to begin for the next three year cycle starting 2019/20.

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