Leicester City's last two behind-closed-doors Premier League fixtures have been broadcast on Sky Box Office, with supporters having to pay £14.95 to see their team in action
Leicester City's pay-per-view matches were watched by a considerably smaller audience than usual, according to new figures.
City's last two Premier League fixtures, the 1-0 loss to Aston Villa and 1-0 win at Arsenal, have both been broadcast on Sky Box Office, with fans paying £14.95 on top of their subscriptions to view the games.
Because of the price, there have been boycotts up and down the country, with City fans joining in, instead donating £14.95 to charity.
The British Audience Research Board (BARB) has released its latest estimates on TV audience figures, including Sky Box Office, with TV executive Joel Minsky sharing the numbers. They make for interesting reading.
On the first weekend of pay-per-view games, an estimated 20,000 people tuned in to watch City loss to Midlands rivals Villa at the King Power Stadium.
Another of the matches broadcast on Sky Box Office that weekend was Newcastle United against Manchester United, which attracted double the viewers at 40,000.
There was a big leap in viewers for Sunday's clash at the Emirates Stadium with 140,000 watching as City secured their first away win over the Gunners in 47 years.
Around 110,000 people watched Liverpool against Sheffield United on Sunday.
However, these figures pale in comparison to the viewership on Sky Sports' subscriber channels. On Saturday, Man United's game against Chelsea averaged an audience of 1.7m people, more than 10 times the number that watched City at Arsenal the following day.
These figures come from BARB viewing estimates, with 5,300 households sampled and the figures extrapolated for the population.
Minsky points out that “sampling is very statistically sound and is considered a gold standard in the UK as well as globally for TV measurement.”
Both Sky and BT Sport have declined to share viewing data themselves, and the Mirror are reporting that both broadcasters are keen to scrap pay-per-view games due to their unpopularity with fans.
There are also suggestions that Premier League clubs will push to bring the price down to £10 per fixture.
It is worth noting that, because BARB estimates viewing figures rather than the number of households watching broadcasts, not all of those viewers will translate into subscriber payments.