Championship matches shown live on BBC Scotland double viewing figures year on year in the 2023/24 season

BBC Scotland’s live coverage of Championship matches have reached an audience of over 800,000 in the 2023/24 season.

Audience figures show live Championship matches reached a total of 880,000 viewers across the season. Reach for live sports programmes, as defined by the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (Barb), is at least 15 minutes consecutive viewing.

The strong viewing figures come as attendances grew in the division by more than 50% across in one year, up from 397,373 in season 2022/23 to 609,823 in season 2023/24.

Additionally, Scotland’s popular second tier, which was recently won by Dundee United, also enjoyed an impressive average weekly reach of 190,000 for Friday night matches on the channel this season.

Neil Doncaster, SPFL group chief executive, said: “It’s great to see such strong interest from BBC Scotland viewers in our William Hill Championship, which is renowned for its incredible excitement and drama. Viewers have been able to watch thrilling playoff matches, a compelling title race between Dundee United and Raith Rovers, and powerful stories right across the division.

“We have a great relationship with the teams at BBC Scotland and look forward to continuing to work with them on live William Hill Championship matches in the coming years.”

Friday night games have become a regular fixture on the BBC Scotland channel after a long-running agreements with the SPFL.

An extension to the contract between the broadcaster and SPFL, which includes live Championship matches and Premiership highlights, was reached last year. The extension will run from the end of next season up to and including the 28/29 campaign.

Louise Thornton, head of commissioning at BBC Scotland, said: “The live Friday night match is a popular fixture on the BBC Scotland channel and a significant part of our portfolio of live sports coverage. Our sports teams deliver an outstanding service for viewers each week.

“There have been many highlights of our live coverage over the season including all the excitement of the play-offs, and it’s great news that our cameras will be at the matches for the next five seasons.”

Championship football is a significant part of BBC Scotland’s portfolio of live sport which also features some Scottish Cup matches, including one semi-final and the final.

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