Sky Sports to broadcast first double bill

Modest viewership figures so far for broadcasting company

Offaly’s Brian Carroll is tackled by goalkeeper Darren Gleeson, Michael Cahill and Padraic Maher of Tipperary during their hurling qualifier. Just 27,800 tuned in to watch the game on Sky Sports.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Offaly’s Brian Carroll is tackled by goalkeeper Darren Gleeson, Michael Cahill and Padraic Maher of Tipperary during their hurling qualifier. Just 27,800 tuned in to watch the game on Sky Sports. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 21:57

Sky Sports will broadcast its first double bill of live championship matches this Saturday evening on the back of continuingly modest viewing figures.

After experiencing a slight increase in their peak viewing figures for the hurling qualifier between Tipperary and Galway last Saturday week – which attracted an average audience of 34,000 – this dropped back to 27,800 – or 2.4 per cent of the available audience share – for last Saturday’s hurling qualifier between Tipperary and Offaly.

This also dropped back below the initial peak of 32,000 for the first Sky broadcast at the start of June, the Kilkenny-Offaly Leinster hurling quarter-final. Again, these figures are for Irish residential subscribers only, and don’t include those watching in HD, or those who watched the match in pubs or in Britain.

For comparison purposes, last year’s round-two hurling qualifier between Kilkenny and Waterford, which went out live on TV3, attracted an average audience of 282,700, or 30.35 per cent of the audience share.

RTÉ’s latest viewing figures for their two live broadcasts Sunday afternoon, the Connacht football final, followed by the Munster hurling final, attracted a strong audience share: the Connacht football final between Mayo and Galway averaged 285,800, while the Munster hurling final between Cork against Limerick averaged 458,200.

Double header

Interestingly, on Saturday evening, the Wexford-Clare hurling qualifier replay, which also went out live on RTÉ, attracted an average audience of 320,800.

This Saturday, Sky Sports broadcasts its first live double header, starting with the All-Ireland football qualifier Round 3B clash between Roscommon and Armagh, set for Dr Hyde Park at 5.0.

This will be followed by the All-Ireland hurling qualifier round two meeting between Wexford and Waterford, set for Nowlan Park at 7.0.

It has also been confirmed that Sky Sports will have exclusive rights for a double-bill of football qualifiers on Saturday week, July 26th, from O’Connor Park in Tullamore. This will feature the round 4A ties between Cork and Sligo (5.0), followed by Galway and Tipperary (at 7.0).

Sky’s lowest viewing figures so this summer was the drawn Ulster football semi-final between Armagh and Monaghan, which attracted less than one per cent of the available audience, or just 10,200 viewers.

Meanwhile, as expected, the two All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals on Sunday week, July 27th, have been fixed for Semple Stadium in Thurles. Limerick’s game against the winners of Wexford-Waterford will start at 2.0, followed by the meeting of Tipperary and Dublin at 4.0 – with both those games going out live on RTÉ.

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