Just before the return to the fields of German football clubs, Saturday, May 16, the weekly der Spiegel wondered if “Without the atmosphere in the stadiums, the fans really want football”. The answer was obviously “yes”: even if the resumption of the Bundesliga, the national championship, had aroused a lot of reservations, even hostility across the Rhine, the spectators were there. Or more precisely, viewers, because these first matches played after a hiatus of more than two months due to the coronavirus epidemic, were behind closed doors. And it’s Sky Sport Deutschland’s television that is rubbing their hands: it has attracted more than 6 million viewers in Germany, which has enabled it to beat its audience records for the championship, the site reported on Sunday specialized DWDL. of.
At 3.30 p.m. Saturday, the kick-off time for the first matches, including the traditional Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, Sky gathered 3.68 million viewers on its pay channels alone, more than double the usual score for a football Saturday. To which must be added 2.45 million people who followed the multiplex on the channel’s free channel, which decided to broadcast the multiplexes of the first two Saturdays of the resumption on its Sport News channel, accessible to all.
The market shares were 27.4% on the pay channels and 18.2% on the free channel. In the target group of 14-49 year olds, the total market share even rose to more than 60%, an absolute record for Sky.
It is to secure this television broadcast, and the payment of the rights that go with it, that the Bundesliga clubs insisted on resuming and finishing the championship: if it ends (9 days to go), they can touch the 300 million euros that are still due. Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke had notably assured that a stoppage of the championship ” would not have been economically bearable for the clubs “.