Finally, the viewing figures have been revealed for Sky Sports’ PPV Premier League matches, with many fans choosing to boycott it.
Sky Sports and BT Sport are reportedly keen on scrapping the controversial pay-per-view structure, with a talk and vote set to take place later on Tuesday.
At nearly £15 per game, it’s no wonder that the matches have been watched by a significant lower audience than normal according to the new figures.
The British Audience Research Board (BARB) has released its latest estimates on TV audience figures – including Sky Box Office thankfully.
TV executive Joel Minsky has shared the number of how many chose to pay the £14.95 to watch their team in action on the box office, and it makes for interesting reading.
Newcastle United 4-1 defeat to Manchester United was the first game televised on the Sky Box Office, and it saw low audience numbers, attracting a total of just 40,000 viewers.
It’s said that half of that amount were estimated to have watched Leicester City lose 1-0 to Aston Villa, the second game to be shown on Sky’s special pay service.
There was an increase on the viewing figures, when 110,000 chose to tune in to Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United.
140,000 tuned in for Arsenal’s 1-0 home defeat to Leicester City on Sunday evening.
These figures come from BARB viewing estimates, with 5,300 households sampled and the figures extrapolated for the population.
Minsky points out that “sampling is very statistically sound and is considered a gold standard in the UK as well as globally for TV measurement.”
Manchester United’s bore draw with Chelsea on Saturday evening, which was on Sky Sports’ subscriber channels, averaged an audience of 1.7m viewers.
Another game with no goals, Burnley against West Brom, is said to have brought in just under 1,000 viewers.
The figures do not include BT Sport Box Office matches, which are not measured by BARB.
Both Sky and BT Sport have declined to share viewing data themselves.
According to the Daily Star, both Sky and BT want to pull the plug, with a Sky source telling the publication: “Sky is not happy to be involved in showing the pay-per-view games. We never thought it was a good idea and nothing’s changed since it started.
“It is damaging the reputation of Sky Sports to be linked to this scheme – and that feeling is shared at BT. Everyone here would prefer for it to stop.”
Various media outlets state that both broadcasters are keen to scrap pay per view games due to how unpopular they are with fans.
BARB estimates viewing figures rather than households watching things, not all of those viewers will translate into subscriber payments.
Box Office channels this weekend are scheduled to show Aston Villa vs Southampton; Tottenham vs Brighton on Sunday; Fulham vs West Brom in a Monday evening kick off.
Meanwhile, former footballer turned pundit Jamie Carragher hits out at Mike Ashley after his shock statement which was issued on Monday night ahead of the PPV decision on Tuesday.
The former Liverpool and England player has laid into the Newcastle United owner’s intervention in the Premier League pay-per-view as “laughable”.
Mike Ashley released a surprising statement on Monday evening, urging for the end of the £14.95 pay-per-view game arrangement which was agreed earlier this month for matches not chosen by broadcasters. You can find out more on that much talked about story HERE.
Of course, as the viewing figures were revealed for Sky’s PPV Premier League matches, fans couldn’t wait to rip into it…
@howie_Official Here’s the viewing figures that we had wanted to see. No surprises! ?
— Tom Powell (@tom_powell6) October 26, 2020
Idiots every single one of them!
— manxpie (@manxpie86) October 26, 2020
Theres over 45000 bars in uk. Fair wack of them would have it on
— Jack. (@jackc1) October 26, 2020
40,000 sounds pretty low and with all the bad PR that Sky/BT and the PL are getting out of it, not sure that would make it worthwhile going forward.
— Brady (@Brady1892) October 26, 2020
Still far too many
— Black & White Vision (@white_vision) October 26, 2020
40k is very low considering we would have 52K in sjp
— Triple JPH (@haggo28) October 26, 2020
Mostly pubs I bet
— Kris Dunn (@dunn_kris) October 26, 2020
Clubs are frustrated with the scheme because it does not generate much extra income. [Mirror] pic.twitter.com/2FYlSqd3Ns
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) October 27, 2020
Scrap it, it’s a joke! We already pay for our subscription to sky sports.
— King Ole ? ?? (@KingOle20) October 27, 2020
7€ a month and we can watch almost every PL game in Estonia. But those ppv prices are f*cking stupid!!!!! Boycot it and soon those greedy c*nts realise that this shit aint long lasting!!
— Andrei T? (@Stjops) October 27, 2020
This is where Amazon is going to come in and wipe the competition out. They’ll have PPV games available globally on Prime at a reduced cost of £5.
— The LYR Depot (@DepotLyr) October 27, 2020
Everyone’s watching on streams
— Cam (@camrobbins1) October 27, 2020
Just make it free ffs
— Free Donny (@AhmadHu91833000) October 27, 2020
Can’t see PPV Premier League matches for much longer like
— Jason Lee ?? (@ForeverAYellow) October 27, 2020