English soccer’s Premier League has revealed that it reached a cumulative global audience of 3.2 billion for all programming watched during the 2018/19 season, a six per cent increase on the previous campaign.
Working in partnership with industry analyst Nielsen, England’s top-flight soccer league also found that the cumulative audience for live Premier League programming rose 11 per cent to 1.35 billion.
The figures only account for standard in-home broadcast viewing and exclude out-of-home and mobile consumption.
The Premier League credited a significant portion of its audience growth to new free-to-air (FTA) coverage in several countries, including Brazil and South Africa.
There was also a continued increase in live audiences in the UK, where pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports saw its viewership grow 12 per cent during the campaign.
In total, the Premier League said it was shown in 188 of the world’s 193 countries recognised by the United Nations (UN). The five countries without coverage last season were Afghanistan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Cuba.
An official release added that 262,102 hours of Premier League coverage were broadcast globally during the 2018/19 season, reaching 1.03 billion homes for all broadcast types.
The Premier League’s international programming is produced and distributed by Premier League Productions (PLP), which is jointly operated by the league and IMG. The global agency recently extended its partnership with English soccer’s top flight for a further three seasons.
Global audience figures have become of increasing importance for the Premier League after a dip in the value of its domestic television rights for the next three-year cycle to UK£5 billion (US$6.3 billion).
The drop was offset by a 30 per cent rise in the price of the league’s international rights, which have been sold for a combined UK£4.2 billion (US$5.3 billion) for the 2019 to 2022 term. Soccerex