Champions League accounts for just 2.5% of Sky Sports viewing

Sky sportsSky has said that Champions League football accounted for just 2.5% of Sky Sports viewing, with fans showing an “overwhelming preference for our Premier League coverage.”

In a company blog post, Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said that the Premier League is “seven times bigger” that its Champions League coverage and that 49 of the top 50 most-watched Premier League matches were on Sky Sports last season.

“Over the last five seasons we have seen Champions League audiences fall 38%. Last season, we saw our lowest ever average match audience and not a single European game appeared in our top 40 football matches,” said Francis.

“Success in the recent Premier League auction means we’ll show the matches that matter for at least four more years. From 2016, we will have even more games with 126 live fixtures, up from 116. That’s three times more than any other broadcaster.”

The comments come as BT prepares to take over live Champions League coverage from Sky and ITV in the UK from the beginning of the 2015/16 season.

BT won the rights in a £897 million (€1.07 billion) three-year deal agreed in 2013, while Sky retained the bulk of live Premier League football in an auction earlier this year, paying a record £5.14 billion for the three seasons from 2016/2017.