LONDON. — Liverpool and Manchester United’s devastating defeats on Sunday saw Sky Sports record figures representing their best viewed day.
The broadcaster confirmed to The Independent that more than 14m viewers tuned in to their channels on a day which saw the Premier League champions suffer an incredible 7-2 defeat away at Aston Villa and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United blown away 6-1 at home by Tottenham.
The number also includes viewing figures from Arsenal’s 2-1 victory against Sheffield United in the mid-afternoon kick-off, with all three games helping provide an average audience across all channels of 933,000 with viewers watching more than 95 minutes of action.
Figures peaked at 3.3m, just 25 minutes into United’s equal worst defeat in the Premier League era, as Anthony Martial was sent off shortly before Harry Kane put Spurs 3-1 down up.
The figures, however, fall short of the most-watched match of the Premier League era, which came three months ago on the BBC.
“These viewing numbers show the importance of sport to our viewers,’’ said Sky Sports managing director Rob Webster.
“At a time when the UK is spending more time at home, I’m delighted that our teams are able to showcase a choice of world-class sporting content from around the world.’’
The figures were provided by Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb), the UK’s leading data providers of television viewership, which is part-owned by six TV stations including Sky and Channel 4.
Figures were also supplemented by Celtic’s match against St Johnstone, the Vitality Blast Finals day at Edgbaston and coverage of the Indian Premier League, as well as golf from the European Tour, PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour.
NFL coverage was also shown alongside Joshua Buatsi’s fight against Marko Calic, as well as rolling transfer news across Sky Sports News.
Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil has offered to pay the salary of the man inside Arsenal’s Gunnersaurus outfit to save the “famous and loyal’’ mascot from extinction.
Jerry Quy, who had played the role of the loveable furry dinosaur on Match Days for 27 years, was let go as part of the Covid-19 cost-cutting.
But, in a new twist, Ozil tweeted that he was happy to pay for Quy to continue in the role after celebrities, including Holly Willoughby, Jack Whitehall and Piers Morgan joined the campaign to save Gunnersaurus.
Ozil, who earns ￡350 000-a-week, tweeted yesterday: “I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka out famous & loyal mascot @Gunnersaurus and integral part of our club was being made redundant after 27 years.
“As such, I’m offering to reimburse @Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy, as long as I will be an Arsenal player, so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much. #JusticeForGunnersaurus #M1? #YaGunnersYa.’’
Celebrity Arsenal fan, Piers Morgan, responded to Ozil’s tweet in humorous fashion, saying: “BREAKING: Ozil finally puts a shift in.’’
In response, an Arsenal spokesperson insisted: “Gunnersaurus is not extinct and will return to action when fans are allowed back at matches.’’
Morgan had led the outcry against the decision, calling for Arsenal to reconsider and pleading with boss Mikel Arteta and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to intervene.
And, he was joined by This Morning presenter Willoughby and comedian Whitehall in trying to stop the mascot becoming “extinct.’’