Media: TV firms share World Cup glory

The World Cup qualifying matches last weekend made winners of Sky, ITV and Channel 5 along with the England and Scotland teams, according to viewing figures released this week.

The World Cup qualifying matches last weekend made winners of Sky,

ITV and Channel 5 along with the England and Scotland teams, according

to viewing figures released this week.



Sky was the only broadcaster to show the England vs Italy match live

after refusing to bow to ITV’s demands to be allowed to share coverage

(see Marketing, October 9).



Sky gained its highest audience in its history, pulling in a network

audience of four million, an 18% share of all viewing. That excludes the

millions who watched the game in pubs.



ITV, which was forced to show the match ’as live’ at 10pm, directly

after Sky’s coverage, attracted 7.5 million viewers, a 47% share of all

viewing.



Channel 5, which last week secured exclusive live coverage of Scotland’s

qualifying fixture against Latvia, attracted an audience of 2.3 million,

a 20% share of all viewing.



Russell Boyman, broadcast director at Mediapolis, said: ’ITV didn’t lose

that much by starting its coverage after Sky. It shows people are

willing to watch an event ’as live’ even if it isn’t really.’



Sky has decided not to press ahead with pay-per-view football. Chief

executive Sam Chisholm claims the time is not yet right.



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