Bundesliga LIVE : German league opener delivers bumper ratings for Sky

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German pay-television broadcaster Sky achieved record viewing figures for the re-start of Bundesliga football matches. The restart of the Bundesliga behind locked doors on Saturday (May 16) attracted more than 6 million viewers watching in Germany, a new record for broadcasters Sky, according to specialist website DWDL.de. It was reported to have had 3.68m viewers watching the matches on its linear pay-television channels on Saturday afternoon, and an additional 2.45m watching its ‘Konferenz’ channel, which was offered free-to-air and simultaneously covered all five games live by moving between stadiums

The domestic figure is more than double the usual audience for a typical round of Saturday matches.

In the day’s main game, Erling Braut Haaland scored the first German league goal since mid-March to help Borussia Dortmund rout rivals Schalke 4-0 and stay in the title race with Bayern Munich, who play Union Berlin away on Sunday.

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A spokesman for the German Football League (DFL) told AFP the matches were televised by more than 70 broadcasters worldwide, all on previously-agreed deals.

With Bundesliga matches played behind locked doors in near-empty stadiums, Sky Germany broadcast the Konferenz on it’s free-to-view Sports News Channel.

The idea was to discourage fans in Germany from meeting up to watch matches in places with a Sky subscription.

When Saturday afternoon’s games kicked-off, Sky Germany had a market share of 27.4 per cent on their pay-to-view channels and 18.2 per cent on their free channel.

In the target group of 14-49 year olds, the total market share was “over 60 per cent”, according to DWDL.de on Sunday, a record for Sky Germany.

Having been granted permission to restart after the German government approved the league’s strict hygiene guidelines, the Bundesliga is the first top European league to resume.

There are hopes the leagues in Italy, Spain and England can restart next month while the French league season has already been scrapped.