BSkyB Generic Image - Sky TV

New data has ranked the top 1,000 individual broadcasts in the last year based on the number of Sky TV customers who tuned in to watch them with 77 out of the 78 programmes that made up the list aired on free-to-view channels. The only pay TV show to make the rankings was Game of Thrones.

“It’s clear from this data that the nation has a big appetite for the great programming that free-to-air offers, even those pay-TV customers forking out on pricey subscriptions. People don’t have to commit to a costly TV subscription when they can buy a Freetime box offering lots of great channels.” – Freesat spokesperson Jennifer Elworthy

These viewing figures reveal that 99 per cent of Sky TV customers’ favourite shows in the last year were aired on free TV channels. Freesat looked at the ratings which showed that 77 out of the 78 programmes most widely watched by Sky subscribers were broadcast on free TV channels, predominantly BBC and ITV.

The viewing figures leave no doubt that, despite paying up to £840 a year for their TV subscription, Sky customers prefer the shows broadcast on free-to-air television. Game of Thrones the only pay-TV programme in the Sky viewing rankings, was ranked 368th.

The fantasy drama attracted a high of 2.4million Sky viewers in April – less than half of the 4.9million Sky customers who tuned in to BBC One to watch The Great British Bake Off last October. Along with Bake Off, the rankings were dominated by compelling dramas such as ITV’s Broadchurch and BBC drama Doctor Foster, reality shows such as BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor from ITV as well as soaps including BBC One’s EastEnders and ITV’s Coronation Street.

Mrs Browns Boy's - Brendan O'Carrol

The top-ranking comedy for Sky customers this year was BBC One’s Mrs Brown’s Boys, which clocked up almost 4 million Sky viewers on Christmas Day last year.

The top ten shows by viewing figures:

  1. The Great British Bake Off
  2. EastEnders
  3. New Year’s Eve Fireworks
  4. The Voice UK
  5. Mrs Brown’s Boys
  6. Strictly Come Dancing
  7. Britain’s Got Talent
  8. I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here
  9. Queen and Adam Lambert’s Rock Big Ben Live
  10. Call the Midwife

Research from Freesat has previously revealed that the average UK household pays £39 a month on TV subscriptions and most (56 per cent) feel they don’t get their money’s worth. Sky TV viewing figures were obtained by Freesat from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board. These figures ranked the top 1,000 individual broadcasts in terms of the audience they attracted among Sky TV customers. Shows with affiliated extra programmes only counted for one. For example, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing: The Results’ were recorded as one show.

However, individual sporting events each counted as one programme. So each individual FA Cup match that made it in the top 1,000 broadcasts counted as its own show – making up the total of 78 shows. The 99% figure in the headline was calculated by dividing the 1,000 broadcasts by the number (10) not available on free-to-view channels.

The Great British Bake Off

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