Viewing figures for Sky Sports’ live Premier League matches have dropped by 19 per cent this season.
Despite already having aired headline clashes such as the Manchester derby, Arsenal vs Liverpool and Chelsea vs Liverpool this season, Sky Sports has seen viewers drop by nearly a fifth on last season.
The rise of illegal streaming of matches (most notably by Kodi users), the emergence of BT Sport and the rival attraction of the Olympics are likely contributors to the decline in audience numbers, and it will surely be of huge concern to Sky having paid £4.2 billion (the equivalent of over £11 million per match) for the right to broadcast 126 live games over the next 3 seasons.
A Sky spokesman, responding to The Daily Mail article that revealed the audience figures, said: “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.”