Premier League TV Audiences Are Still On The Rise

The Premier League, or the English Premier League outside the country, boasts the top players in the English football system. Comprised of 20 clubs, it works as a series of promotions within the EFL. The Premier League acts as a corporation where the clubs are shareholders. Audiences are still on the rise, likely due to the global appeal of the sport.

“Football is by far the most popular sport with television audiences around the world. The only exception is in the USA where soccer (as it is called) takes second place behind other domestic sports. But everywhere else, it’s called football, and it’s the undisputed favourite live sport on TV,” according to Live Sport Center, an online resource that shows all the options when fans want to know “What channel is football on?”

Premier League TV Viewing Rose 5% In 2018

2019 figures aren’t yet available, but TV viewing for Premier League matches increased 5% during the 17/18 season. That’s good news to fans and club members since the league hit a slump in viewers during the 16/17 season, according to Sports Business Daily, an online sports journal.

Broadcasting execs attribute the rebound in popularity to the better performances by popular leagues, such as ManU and Liverpool as well as Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League. In 2017, the Broadcasters Audience Research Board showed the lowest viewership in seven years. Sky’s viewers fell by 14% for16/17 and BT Sport’s reported a decrease of 2%, compared to the previous year. During 17/18, both broadcasters say viewership rose 5%, though they were still under the 15/16 turnouts. The rise was attributed to traditional viewers tuning in more often.

These figures don’t include viewers using tablets, streaming services or mobile devices, so the actual figure might be higher. It also excludes anyone watching pre- or post-match coverage who didn’t watch the actual matches.

Regarding the season as a whole, the significant factor impacting TV audience size was probably related to Manchester United’s performance. The Liverpool league had a good run as well. Sky drew in 819,000 viewers for each match and BT Sport averaged 692,000 per match.

Why Viewers Love Football

Many people who watch soccer also play it. This perhaps gives them a better appreciation of the feats of their heroes. Families that grew closer around soccer pitches where their kids played form bonds and watch big matches together. Whether it’s watching ManU demolished the competition or rooting for the underdog in the World Cup, this is a sport that quickly captures the imagination, heart and soul of viewers–even if they do check out more some years than others.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.