Number of viewers in minus in the Bundesliga season

DARD’s sports show had to accept a drastic drop in the number of viewers in the recent Bundesliga season. On average, 3.909 million people viewed the listings. That’s about 17 percent less than last season. “Of course, the loss of almost 900,000 viewers on average worries us,” said ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky of the German press agency.

He pointed to “a very different range of causes for the fall.” He counts fewer TV viewers overall “than in the primary Corona period”, lack of excitement and the appointments. “On more than a quarter of all match days, there were only four current matches on Saturday at 15.30 and on the 26th match day only three,” Balkausky explained.

According to the sporting director of the public broadcaster, he is “not sure if Saturday is and will be a core match day in the minds of the fans. We will talk about this with the DFL, with whom we are always in a constructive dialogue.”

There was also a marked decline in the current sports studio. On average, 1.78 million people watched the ZDF classic on Saturday night after 2.01 million in the previous season. “Empty stands for spectators due to the pandemic and lack of excitement in the championship match do not increase the attractiveness of the Bundesliga – and this is also reflected in the number of spectators,” said ZDF Sports Director Thomas Fuhrmann. “The return of traditional teams like Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen will definitely help the league.”

The figures for the most recent season in the second Bundesliga are a clue. There was an increase in viewers. On pay-TV channel Sky, the average number of live broadcasts rose by 54 percent to 1.81 million people per match day. In the Bundesliga, on the other hand, this value fell by 16 percent to 2.82 million.

Differences depending on the team

Sky sports director Charly Classen recorded “an unprecedented interest” in the second division: “This is of course due to the attractiveness of traditional clubs, but also the exciting battle for promotion.” In addition to the conference, Sky customers were especially popular the live matches from FC Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen. The two crowd favorites will play in the Bundesliga again next season.

There were also more viewers in the Sunday edition of the sports show thanks to the attractive second division. The ARD classic averaged 1.945 million after 1.652 million in the previous season. “Tensions in the league have an impact on viewers’ acceptance, you could see that in the second Bundesliga,” commented ARD sports coordinator Balkausky. “Of course we are also happy that clubs with strong fans with Schalke and Werder have been promoted to the first division again, because it can also lead to an increase in acceptance in the coming season.”

Sport1, on the other hand, will miss the audience favorites. On average, 460,000 viewers watched the 2nd division match on Saturday night, which was added to the program as a result of the current media contract. “Saturday night has thus established itself as a castle for the new top game on free TV,” said the broadcaster. The streaming platform DAZN, which broadcasts the Bundesliga on Friday and Sunday for a fee, does not publish any specific viewership figures.

In the season finale in the coming days, ARD will once again get a large number of viewers. Freiburg and Leipzig play in the DFB Cup final on Saturday night. Sky also broadcasts. The matches in the Bundesliga relegation between Hertha BSC and Hamburger SV as well as 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Dynamo Dresden in the relegation of the second division show Sat.1 and Sky.

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