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Gary Lineker announces what the BBC TV audience was for Arsenal v Newcastle United

8 months ago

Gary Lineker presented the Arsenal v Newcastle United live TV match on BBC1.

A Saturday night primetime slot with the FA Cup third round match kicking off at 5.30pm.

Gary Lineker had his top men alongside him, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright the guests to cover the match.

An extra edge nicely added with the two former players (Shearer and Wright) big supporters of the two clubs.

All that was missing was a match to deliver for the Saturday night BBC1 audience.

The chat between the two pundits alongside Gary Lineker far more entertaining than the match, as Ian Wright and Alan Shearer competed to get over exactly how bad most of the two hours of ‘entertainment’ was.

However, the power / reach of terrestial TV remains.

Back in October, Newcastle United v Manchester United (Saturday 17 October 2020) helped kick off the ill-fated pay per view initiative of charging fans £14.95 to watch a single match, figures released afterwards (see below) said that this Saturday night primetime clash had attracted only 30,000 paying households with an estimated 40,000 people watching. Fans boycotting the initiative and many of them donating to food banks instead, helping to drive down the figures even further than they would have been.

The following Saturday (24 October 2020) Manchester United v Chelsea was shown from Old Trafford as part of the normal Sky Sports schedule, that primetime Saturday night match attracting a UK audience of 1.7m viewers.

However, on Sunday, Gary Lineker has revealed that Saturday’s Arsenal v Newcastle game had an audience of 6m watching on BBC 1, with then a further 1.2m also watching on iplayer yesterday as well.

This yet again shows the power of terrestial (free) TV compared to paying (beyond the license fee) to watch football.

The Mag article – 26 October 2020:

‘TV executive Joel Minsky commenting on the BARB figures.

The Sky Sports BARB estimated Premier League Pay Per View household numbers:

Newcastle United v Man Utd – 30,000

Leicester v Aston Villa – 20,000

Liverpool v Sheff Utd – 60,000

Arsenal vs Leicester – 70,000

As for the other Sky Sports Box Office game that has been shown ahead of today, Joel Minsky says that West Brom v Burnley is ‘coming up as a big fat 0’, almost certainly meaning less than 10,000 households paid for it.

Joel says that the total viewing figures for Newcastle United v Man Utd were estimated at 40,000, in terms of number of viewers and not households. To show just how disastrously low the Pay Per View figures are, Minsky compares that to Man Utd v Chelsea averaging around 1.7m viewers when shown on Saturday as a ‘normal’ Sky Sports match.’

Stats from BBC Sport:

Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 9 January 5.30pm




Smith Rowe 109, Aubameyang 117

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Arsenal 61% (65%)  Newcastle 39% (35%)

Total shots were Arsenal 25 (7) Newcastle 12 (2)

Shots on target Arsenal 9 (3) Newcastle 2 (0)

Corners were Arsenal 8 (5) Newcastle 3 (0)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth (Murphy 68), Lascelles (Ritchie 45), Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Hendrick, Almiron (Yedlin 81), Joelinton (Anderson 81), Carroll (Gayle 105)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Matty Longstaff

(Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(After 0 wins in 7 and 1 goal in over 8 hours – Steve Bruce sees ‘signs of progress’ at Newcastle – Read HERE)

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0 (AET) – Read HERE)

(Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0 (AET) – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)


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