Fulham Or The Toon? No Contest

Last updated : 03 March 2017 By Footy Mad - Editor

Prepare for more United games to get moved by Sky in the coming weeks .

Image result for Huddersfield v Newcastle Utd logoAlthough the TV programmers show one Championship game worlwide each Saturday, they have snubbed Newcastle (on the whole) and favoured Fulham(?) and Aston Villa.

But Newcastle are a big TV turn on for Sky, with ten of their live games in the top 12 most-watched matches in the Football League this season.

And the 826,000 audience that turned on for their match against Leeds last year was in the top 40 most watched matches across the whole of the Sky network this season.

The biggest TV audience of the season according to ratings analyser BARB was the Manchester United match against Liverpool in January, which saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic earn the Red Devils a point with a late header. That drew 2.05million and was the top watched game so far this season.

TV ratings have been disappointing this season and a report in October claimed early audiences for Premier League matches were down by a fifth.

By contrast Football League figures are higher than ever – partly down to the presence of several well-supported clubs in the second tier.

United are one of them, judging by the TV figures so far. Only Leeds’ matches against Barnsley and Villa make the top 12.

It also means United should be braced for more of their matches to be moved. Sky are set to announce the next tranche of live matches in the next week with United’s trip to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday and their home game against Leeds almost certain to be selected for TV.

Fans may have to wait a little bit longer. A Sky spokesman said they would make an announcement “towards the end of this week” at the earliest – games against Brighton and Huddersfield next week are on TV.

They have confirmed they are making announcements on a "five-week rolling basis" - and confirmed Brighton's game against QPR on April 7 is the next one scheduled for live TV. United's game against the Owls is on April 8, so we should know whether that's on TV in the coming days.

The top 12 most-viewed Championship matches:

1. Leeds v Newcastle 826,000

2. Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday 598,000

3. Blackburn v Newcastle 584,000

4. Fulham v Newcastle 531,000

5. Aston Villa v Newcastle 524,000

6. Forest v Newcastle 444,000

7. Barnsley v Leeds 443,000

8. Wolves v Newcastle 405,000

9. Newcastle v QPR 392,000

10. Wolves v Derby 379,000

11. Leeds v Villa 377,000

12. Villa v Wolves 372,000