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UK public says ja to Bundesliga with viewing figures up 800% since restart

A UK public starved of football has been quick to adopt the German Bundesliga since its restart a month ago.

According to Nielsen Sports, collective average viewing figures of BT Sports’ coverage of the league’s top three teams has increased by 800% compared to pre-lockdown averages. FC Schalke 04 has seen the biggest jump, with viewership of their matches enjoying the biggest rise of 1,316%, compared to Dortmund’s 985% and Bayern’s 626%.

Dortmund were and remain the broadcaster’s most-watched German side, but the figures are far more impressive in lockdown Britain. Prior to the lockdown, Dortmund matches were attracting 28,100 average viewers – but that has increased to an average of 276,900 since the return.

The analytics firm asserts that this should be a positive indicator for BT Sports’ coverage of the English Premier League, when it restarts its broadcasting of the league on June 20 with Watford vs Leicester.

Tom McCormack, UK Head of Rights Holders at Nielsen Sports said: “Nielsen Sports’ analysis into BT Sport subscribers’ viewing habits of the Bundesliga, both before and after the coronavirus lockdown, highlight above anything else the sheer level of appetite for live sporting action in the UK.

“Our insight suggests there is a significant proportion of Bundesliga viewers who are regular Premier League viewers on BT Sport. With the return of the English top flight this week, and matches taking place close to every day, it is going to be interesting to see how consumption is distributed each week between the two competitions and at what point the viewership regresses back to pre-COVID levels, if it does.”