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Volume 7 No. 149
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Premier League TV Viewing Figures Rose 5% In '17-18

Liverpool's strong performance was among the reasons behind a rise in TV viewership last season.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

TV viewing figures for Premier League matches rose by 5% last season as the league showed a "partial recovery from a slump the previous year," according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. Broadcasting execs believe that the "main reasons behind the rise" were ManU and Liverpool performing better as well as Newcastle United's return to the EPL. A year ago, figures from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board showed a seven-year low, with Sky's average number of viewers having fallen 14% for the '16-17 season compared with the previous year and BT Sport's figures down 2%. Figures for the '17-18 season showed that viewing figures across both broadcasters rose by 5%, "though still down" on the '15-16 campaign overall. The rise "relates to traditional TV audiences watching matches." It does not cover those watching via tablets, mobile devices or streaming services, or "any TV viewers of pre-match or post-match content." One senior broadcasting exec said that the B.A.R.B. figures "only measured a traditional audience and that it needed to reflect the increasing number of viewers using other devices to watch games." The exec said, "When we look back at the season as a whole, the really significant factor affecting the size of TV audiences relates to how Manchester United, and to some extent Liverpool, are performing." The first two months of the '17-18 season showed a "significant recovery from the same period a year before," with Sky drawing an average of 819,000 TV viewers per match and BT Sport 692,000 per match (LONDON TIMES, 9/18).