Bundesliga week 26 viewership records in USA, UK, Germany

The Bundesliga marked its return over the weekend, becoming the first major European league to resume their season after being forced into suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. The viewership numbers from Matchday 26, the round that ushered back the action in the German top-flight, are in and it makes for a positive reading.

In Germany alone, more than five million viewers tuned in to domestic broadcaster Sky Deutschland for the return of the first division, achieving an overall 27.2 percent market share. Sky's linear TV channels and their over-the-top (OTT) platform Sky Go garnered an audience of 3.81 million during the afternoon window with their weekend coverage.

The decision to offer the Konferenz show – a simultaneous live coverage of Saturday's five 09:30 AM ET kick-offs – for free to non-subscribers played a huge role in Germany's impressive viewership numbers. A total of 2.45 million tuned in to this show to watch as coverage moved from game to game. Not only did this move prove beneficial financially for Sky, but it also helped discourage people from meeting up in areas with subscriptions to follow the action live, which was the driving force behind this plan.

Similarly, the return of the league garnered great numbers for BT Sport, the Bundesliga broadcaster in the UK. Given that the 3 PM blackout was temporarily lifted, they were able to air the five simultaneous Saturday kick-offs live and this did wonders for their viewership.

Their coverage of the standout fixture Dortmund vs Schalke registered a peak audience of 652,000 and averaged 500,000 for this Signal Iduna Park tie. To put this figure into perspective, the average viewership for a Premier League game on BT Sport is 400K. Elsewhere. Borussia Monchengladbach's trip to Frankfurt, which ended in a 3-1 win for the visitors, reached a peak audience of 192,000.

While the exact figures from the USA are not out yet, early estimations show that the Bundesliga racked in magnificent traction in the States as well. Dortmund's 4-0 triumph over Schalke was aired at 9:30 AM on the east coast and 6:30 AM on the west coast on pay-television. Despite this, it is estimated that the Revierderby alone garnered a peak audience of 450,000. This translates to a 725 percent increase in overnight ratings for Fox Sports when compared to the last German top-flight aired by the broadcaster.

Those aforementioned weekend ties saw Fox Sports make history, becoming the FS1 channel's top two Bundesliga broadcast metered market ratings in history. The Revierderby reached 0.33 while Frankfurt vs Gladback scored a 0.21.

Additionally, Haaland and Co's home clash against Die Knappen was watched by 203,000 viewers in the Netherlands via Fox Sports 1, an average of 155,800 subscribers in Italy via Sky Italia, and reportedly 162,000 subscribers in Spain via Movistar Plus. The Bundesliga will be keen on building on these figures while safeguarding the safety of the players, coaches, and staff so as to keep the train rolling.

Bundesliga week 26 viewership in a nutshell in numbers

  • More than 5M viewers on Sky Deutschland

  • 27.2% market share in Germany

  • 652,000 peak audience on BT Sport for Dortmund vs Schalke

  • 500,000 average viewership for Revierderby on BT Sport

  • 725% increase in overnight ratings for Fox Sports (USA) for Dortmund vs Schalke

  • 450,000 peak audience for Dortmund 4-0 Schalke alone in the US on Fox Sports

  • 0.33 broadcast metered rating for Revierderby on FS1 (USA)

  • 0.21 broadcast metered rating for Frankfurt vs Gladbach on FS1 (USA)

  • 203,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1 in the Netherlands

  • 155,800 viewers on Sky Italia in Italy

  • 162,000 viewers on Movistar Plus in Spain

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