In just the second game back following the Premier League restart, Sky Sports has achieved record TV numbers as fans watch from the comfort of their homes.
Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal was the most watched game in the English top flight in three and a half years and showed exactly how fans missed league action – it had been 100 days they’ve had to wait due to the enforced break caused by coronavirus.
Sky Sports in the United Kingdom had a massive ratings success, as City vs Arsenal drew a peak audience of 3.4 million on Sky Sports’ Main Event and Premier League channels, maintaining an average of 3.1 million during the match. This audience figure saw a staggering 94% jump on the 2019/20 average for games televised live on Sky Sports.
The opening Premier League restart game between Aston Villa and Sheffield United, a 0-0 goalless draw, had a peak audience of 2.7 million and an average of 2.3 million people watching on both Sky Sports channels.
Artificial crowd noise, delivered in both Bundesliga and La Liga broadcasts, has also made its way to the Premier League. For the City vs Arsenal game, 75% of viewers chose to listen to these sounds via Sky Sports Main Event – proving that fans like to have a little bit more atmosphere instead of echoes from players and coaches.
After just one round of matches to kick-off the restart, TV ratings are already booming and are sure to trend upwards as the season nears its conclusion and tantalising match ups are offered. Players are sure to increase their match fitness and sharpness in the coming weeks to ensure there are some quality contests coming up between big six sides and relegation battlers.
Strong TV ratings gives a clear signal that fans are happy for a return to some kind of normality, even though it may not be exactly the same as before with crowds taken out of the equation.
The record figures achieved so far by Sky Sports are an encouraging start for the Premier League – as fans adhere to social distancing guidelines while they wait for a potential return to watch their team live around the grounds.