Sky’s pay-per-view games have not attracted the viewing figures Premier League chiefs had been hoping for, with the British Audience Research Board (BARB) releasing their latest estimates.
The decision to put games which would otherwise have not been televised on pay-per-view has been widely slammed by fans, with a number of supporter’s groups organising boycotts and donating the £14.95 they would have had to pay to watch their team in action to charity instead.
The figures did increase for last weekend’s games, with 110,000 tuning in to watch Liverpool against Sheffield United and 140,000 paying for Arsenal’s loss to Leicester.
BARB sampled 5,300 households to get their estimates and Minsky noted that the “sampling is very statistically sound and is considered a gold standard in the UK as well as globally for TV measurement.”
In contrast, an average of 1.7m people watched Sky’s coverage of Manchester United vs Chelsea which was shown on their regular subscriber channels.
The figures for BT Sport’s Box Office games were not measured.
When the Premier League’s shareholders meet on Tuesday, they will decide whether to scrap the pay-per-view model, change it or lower the price.
Mirror Sport understands that the clubs are frustrated with the scheme because it does not generate much extra revenue
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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.”
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