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Sky moves ahead in ratings war

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The coverage of the Manchester derby, the first blockbuster game of the season,  by Sky Sports attracted more than 2 million viewers at peak.  This was twice the audience BT Sport achieved for Liverpool's game with Leicester.

BT had made a much stronger start to the season, winning the Saturday ratings head-to-head for three weeks on the trot.  Overall, ratings at BT Sport have increased by 8 per cent, while it has been suggested that Sky's ratings have drifted slightly.

Although Saturday is traditionally weaker than Sundays for ratings, with many fans off at their own games, it is the only day when the two broadcasters compete directly with each other for viewers.   BT now shows the later game on Saturday, which typically enjoys a bigger audience than the early afternoon slot Sky reclaimed from BT in the latest auction.

Sky appears to be unconcerned about its slow start on Saturdays, having added Friday night games for the first time and maintaining its lock on the 'Super Sunday' schedule.