ARD “Sportschau” loses, ZDF “Sportstudio” wins viewers and Sky?

Football Image: © pressmaster -
Image: © pressmaster –

Even before the last match day of the Bundesliga, one thing is clear: As in the previous year, the most important sports program on ARD recorded a minus – the situation is different with ZDF and Sky.


Even before the final whistle of the last match day of the Bundesliga, there are clear numbers in the TV balance sheet. In the current season, ARD once again noticed a decline in the number of viewers. On average, 3.662 million people watched the previous 33 “Sportschau” editions of the season ending on Saturday. Already the start of the season in August went badly. In the pre-season, before the last day of the game, it was an average of 3.944 million.

“Watching football on TV is no longer a matter of course,” said ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky of the German Press Agency: “We also see that in international matches.” While the reach of the “sports show” fell, the market share increased compared to last season slightly. “There are fewer viewers overall, people generally watch less television,” explained Balkausky.

ARD again with losses, small plus at ZDF and Sky constant

Within just two years, the TV classic with the summaries of the Bundesliga has lost more than a million viewers. In the 2020/21 season, the average during the corona pandemic was 4.789 million people. But: Despite the decline in viewer numbers, the “Sportschau” is almost always in the top five of the most-watched TV shows on Saturdays. As an “anchor, it remains an important part of the ARD program,” said Balkausky.

In the first half of the current season, the “Sportschau” also suffered from a “lack of tension”, said the ARD sports coordinator. With BVB catching up, the number of spectators also grew. “There have been more lately,” said Balkausky. He also pointed out that both FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund can rarely be shown in “Sportschau”.

Both clubs often don’t play the top game of the day until 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Summaries of Bayern games were only shown in the “Sportschau” on Saturday on 15 of 34 match days. This is not a problem for ZDF, the second station is the first to be allowed to show moving pictures of the top game on free TV.

“The current sports studio” reached an average of 1.81 million people on the Bundesliga match days in the 2022/2023 season up to the 33rd match day and thus even recorded a slight increase. In the 2021/2022 season there were 1.78 million. ZDF’s market share also increased.

Sky can still hope for a slight increase with its main show. Before the final day of the game, the average of the pay-TV broadcaster’s conference call on Saturday afternoon is around 1.7 million viewers – that’s pretty much the average for the entire 2021/22 season.

The most successful single game on Sky was Bayern versus Dortmund with 2.61 million viewers. The most watched live broadcast of the league was the opening game of the season with Eintracht Frankfurt against Bayern Munich: 5.7 million watched the game on the free TV station Sat.1.

[Michael Rossmann]



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