BT Sport's Clare Balding Show Sees Ratings Surge Following Virgin Media Deal
BT's deal to make its sports channels available to millions of Virgin Media TV customers for free "has immediately paid dividends," with viewing of The Clare Balding Show "growing more than six-fold," according to Mark Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. The first airing of Balding's weekly sports magazine program on Aug. 8 "attracted an average of just 1,200 viewers." Balding's second outing, on Thursday night, "fared much better boosted by Virgin Media's 3 million XL package customers getting their first night of free access to BT Sport 1, 2 and ESPN." The show, which featured Olympians Victoria Pendleton and Beth Tweddle and former England cricketer Michael Vaughan, "managed an average of 14,400 viewers" between 8pm and 9:30pm local time (GUARDIAN, 8/16).