Sky Sports revealed in June that last season there had been a 14% fall in viewing of Premier League matches on Sky Sports live TV channels.
When explaining the drop in viewers, the broadcaster (see below) pointed to the relegation of ‘big club’ Newcastle as one of the factors that had hit their figures.
Today (Thursday 6 July) we have seen the initial couple of months of Premier League live TV games released and what do you know…
Sky Sports have chosen to screen more Newcastle matches than any other club in this release up to 1 October 2017, five of the opening seven NUFC Premier League matches will be shown on Sky Sports, with the next highest for a club being four.
Matches at home to Tottenham and Liverpool were always bankers considering the opposition BUT away games at Swansea, Brighton and Huddersfield wouldn’t normally be at the top of the tree to be shown when facing any club.
In these opening set of TV games, only Newcastle’s home matches (see all scheduled live TV games for Sky Sports and BT Sport below) with West Ham and Stoke have been spared.
When including BT Sport (as well as Sky Sports) Arsenal are shown one more time (six out of seven) than Newcastle but only four of the Gunners’ games are on Sky Sports, with Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham also having at least one of their five TV games shown on BT Sport.
Number of times Premier League clubs selected for live TV (both BT Sport and Sky Sports) up to and including 1 October 2017:
2 Crystal Palace
3 Leicester City
5 Manchester City
5 Manchester United
5 Newcastle United
2 West Brom
3 West Ham
The Mag – 12 June 2017:
The Financial Times have revealed that in the season just gone the average viewing of Premier League matches on Sky Sports live TV channels fell by 14%, the biggest fall they have ever recorded.
Sky Sports spent a total of £4.2bn to show 126 Premier League games per season up to and including 2018/19.
The Financial Times also revealed that broadcasters had admitted losing Newcastle United was a big blow to Premier League viewing figures:
‘Sky said the dip in the average numbers — the worst since Barb established its current audience measurement methods in 2010 — was partly explained by the new rights deal that gave it 10 additional matches featuring smaller, less popular teams.
The European pay-TV group added that the relegation of big clubs such as Newcastle and Aston Villa in the previous season hit viewing, as did live coverage of the Rio Olympic Games on the BBC in August. At one stage in the autumn, average viewing was down by as much as 19 per cent.’
The full list of Premier League Live TV Games is listed below, with the five Newcastle matches highlighted.
The first 2017/18 Premier League matches to be selected for live broadcast in the United Kingdom have been announced.
Friday 11 August
7.45pm Arsenal v Leicester City (Sky Sports)
Saturday 12 August
12.30pm Watford v Liverpool (Sky Sports)
5.30pm Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City (BT Sport)
Sunday 13 August
1.30pm Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur (Sky Sports)
4pm Manchester United v West Ham United (Sky Sports)
Saturday 19 August
12.30pm Swansea City v Manchester United (Sky Sports)
5.30pm Stoke City v Arsenal (BT Sport)
Sunday 20 August
1.30pm Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United (Sky Sports)
4pm Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea (Sky Sports)
Monday 21 August
8pm Manchester City v Everton (Sky Sports)
Saturday 26 August
12.30pm AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City (Sky Sports)
5.30pm Manchester United v Leicester City (BT Sport)
Sunday 27 August
1.30pm West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City (Sky Sports)
4pm Liverpool v Arsenal (Sky Sports)
Saturday 9 September
12.30pm Manchester City v Liverpool (Sky Sports)
5.30pm Stoke City v Manchester United (BT Sport)
Sunday 10 September
1.30pm Burnley v Crystal Palace (Sky Sports)
4pm Swansea City v Newcastle United (Sky Sports)
Monday 11 September
8pm West Ham United v Huddersfield Town (Sky Sports)
Friday 15 September
8pm AFC Bournemouth v Brighton & Hove Albion (Sky Sports)
Saturday 16 September
12.30pm Crystal Palace v Southampton (Sky Sports)
5.30pm Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City (BT Sport)
Sunday 17 September
1.30pm Chelsea v Arsenal (Sky Sports)
4pm Manchester United v Everton (Sky Sports)
Saturday 23 September
12.30pm West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur (Sky Sports)
5.30pm Leicester City v Liverpool (BT Sport)
Sunday 24 September
4pm Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United (Sky Sports)
Monday 25 September
8pm Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion (Sky Sports)
Saturday 30 September
12.30pm Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur (Sky Sports)
5.30pm Chelsea v Manchester City (BT Sport)
Sunday 1 October
Midday Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion (BT Sport)
2.15pm Everton v Burnley (Sky Sports)
4.30pm Newcastle United v Liverpool (Sky Sports)