New figures published around the Premier League games by Sky Box Office show a decline in the number of spectators for these games.
More than 100,000 people watched Liverpool’s victory over Sheffield United – a much lower number than would be expected if the game was not broadcast on pay-per-view.
BARB has published figures on how many viewers are estimated to have tuned in
The first weekend of play at the Sky Box Office saw low attendance, with Newcastle United vs. Manchester United attracting 40,000 spectators.
TV Executive Director Joel Minsky has reported the figures and they make interesting reading.
The British Audience Research Board (BARB) has published its latest estimates of TV audience figures, including Sky Box Office.
Last weekend’s games saw an increase in attendance, with 110,000 watching Liverpool against the Blades.
It is estimated that half of them watched the Leicester City vs Aston Villa game.
These figures are taken from estimates by BARB, which surveyed 5,3000 households and extrapolated the figures to the population.
And another 140,000 watched Arsenal’s defeat by Leicester City on Sunday evening.
Minsky points out that “the sampling is statistically very sound and is considered the gold standard for TV measurements both in the UK and worldwide”.
The figures do not include BT Sport Box Office matches not measured by BARB.
In contrast, the Manchester United v Chelsea match on Saturday night, which was shown on Sky Sports’ subscription channels, reached an average of 1.7 million viewers.
Both Sky and BT Sport have refused to exchange viewer data themselves.
Since BARB estimates viewer numbers, and not the households watching, it is worth noting that not all of these viewers will result in subscriber payments.
The Mirror has reported that both broadcasters would like to cancel pay-per-view games because they are unpopular with fans.