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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership

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Solid start for BT

The first live Premier League football match shown exclusively by BT, the opening game between Liverpool and Stoke, was watched by a peak audience of 764,000 viewers, giving the new rivals to Sky a solid start. The match average was 629,000, although these figures from Barb do not include online or app viewers.

About half the households that watched the game used the rival cable TV platform owned by Virgin Media. The agreement could be very important in boosting viewer numbers but it doesn't do much for BT's objective of attracting broadband customers away from Virgin and BSkyB.

Alarm bells ring at Arsenal

Following Saturday's home defeat to Aston Villa, injury worries and a tough Champions League play-off match in Turkey on Wednesday, alarm bells are starting to ring at Arsenal, although the team recovered from a poor start last season.

BT does deal with Virgin

Just before the start of the football season BT has reached a deal to make its new sports offering available to customers of Virgin Media. This will enable to recoup part of its estimated £1bn investment in the channels.

The three year deal brings BT Sport to about two million households who have Virgin's XL package, tripling its reach to three million. BSkyB does not disclose how many of its 10.4 million customers take its sports channels. BT could receive £75m a year under the deal.

Premier League player appeal defended

It has been argued that the Premiership has lost its ability to attract top players and that more of the world's top players are to be found in La Liga and, increasingly, the Bundesliga. However, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has delivered a robust rebuttal of this point of view.

Launching the new Barclays Premier League season, Scudamore said, 'The clubs will do what they have to do. If the best offer is [from overseas], I don't worry about that. We are not going to see a mass exodus of players from the Premier League.'

A ramble round Arsenal's finances

The impressive Swiss Ramble blog takes an in depth look at Arsenal's finances in the light of their reluctance to splash the cash in the transfer market.

City best paid sports team in world

With an average salary of £100,764, Manchester City are now the best paid sports team in the world. Real Madrid have dropped back to 3rd place and Barcelona to 4th, although that partly reflects the effect of currency flictuations.

Premiership grounds boost house prices

The conventional wisdom used to be that living near a football ground depressed house prices given that you had to put up with crowds and traffic disruption on match days. I remember when Charlton were away from The Valley someone saying to me they hoped they wouldn't come back as it would devalue their house.

Universities use Premiership clubs to attract students

Having a local Premiership club can help a university to attract students. The evidence suggests that lower profile universities can derive particular benefits. The competition's huge global audience estimated at 643 million students can provide a basis for recruitment, particularly in Asia.

Hull City rebranded

Hull City is to be rebranded as Hull City Tigers. The move will do away with the Association Football Club (AFC) moniker which has been part of the Yorkshire club's name since their formation in 1904.

Revealing the move, Egyptian-born businessman and owner Assem Allam said: 'Hull City is irrelevant. My dislike for the word 'City' is because it is common. [In the sense of 'commonly used']. City is also associated with Leicester, Bristol, Manchester and many other clubs.'

Payday loans for football clubs?

Vibrac Corporation is registered in the British Virgin Islands so it is not known who its ultimate owners are. However, it is providing football clubs with what amounts to a form of payday loan secured against future income, although presumably not at similar rates of interest. Indeed, the terms must be judged to be reasonable as four Premiership clubs have used the facility.

Everton obtained a one year loan of £14m in 2011 and it is believed that they may have used the facility again. Southampton have also used it, although more details are not available.