Sport may not be why everyone wants broadband or buys TV packages, but it is clear there is demand and BT Sport has published some viewing figures from its opening weekend of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season. The Newcastle versus Bath match attracted a peak of 108,000 viewers, (average 67,000).
Some other viewing figures are London Irish v Saracens and London Wasps v Harlequins attracted 77k and 103k viewers on average (111k and 121k in match audience) and live Premiership Rugby Leicester v Worcester averaged 70k viewers (peak 156k).
This Friday brings a treat for those that have not already signed up to BT Sport and that is on the BT TV, Sky, Virgin and Freeview platforms the Aviva Premiership Rugby clash between Harlequins and Northampton Saints will be available to watch for free between 7pm and 10pm.
BT Sport in standard definition is available for BT Broadband residential customers who sign up to the service, viewing on platforms such as BT TV and Sky satellite TV may require a contract extension, but the basic web app can be accessed for free with no extra commitments. The HD channels require a £3/month subscription. Non BT customers can sign up for £12/month for the SD package, or buy the match snacks and invite a friend around who is a BT customer and hook a laptop up to the TV.
There was some problems with the web based service during the first Premier League match of the season, but that seems to have passed and if the statistic that the viewing figures for the Rugby are 45% higher than ESPN had during their first season and also beat Sky Sports opening games last year are sustained, BT Sport might prove to be here to stay.