Sky Sports viewing figures down by 19%

Sarah Winterburn

Viewing figures for Sky Sports’ live Premier League matches have dropped by a massive 19% this season despite showing the Manchester derby and several high-profile Liverpool games live.

They claim to be unworried by the figures as they have still broadcast the ten most-watched Premier League games this season, but that will be little consolation after Sky and BT Sport paid over £5billion between them for their new three-year contracts.

The rise of illegal streaming is a massive threat to Sky Sports, whose managing director Barney Francis said in July: “It’s our biggest season ever. Our opening set of fixtures offers our viewers some mouth-watering fixtures and we’ll show every club at least once by the end of September.”

The mouth-watering fixtures included a Manchester derby, Arsenal v Liverpool and Chelsea v Liverpool but viewing figures have still plummeted from last season.

A Sky spokesman told the Daily Mail: “It is a premature comparison when several high-profile matches such as Liverpool v Manchester United have yet to air on Sky Sports. We have shown the top 10 most viewed PL games so far this season.”