Scotland and Northern Ireland’s dramatic UEFA Euro 2020 Play-off Finals provided Sky Sports with large audience shares as the games were broadcast free-to-air.
Sky made the decision to offer both broadcasts for fans to enjoy free-to-air in recognition of the unique circumstances and the impact the pandemic is having on supporters in the UK.
Scotland’s clash with Serbia in Belgrade was watched by an audience of 1.48 million viewers, making it the most watched Euro 2020 qualification match on Sky Sports.
The audience peaked during the penalty shootout at 10.20pm with 2.6 million viewers tuning in across Sky Sports Football, Sky One and Pick.
That peak audience helped to deliver a remarkable 63 per cent audience share in Scotland, making it the most watched programme during that time slot in the country as the nation celebrated David Marshall’s heroics in the penalty shootout to help guide Scotland to their first major men’s finals tournament appearance since the 1998 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s agonising exit at the hands of Slovakia at Windsor Park was viewed by an average audience of 257,000 across Sky Sports Premier League and Challenge.
The match peaked towards the end of extra time at 10.10pm with 563,000 viewers tuning in, delivering an audience share of 30 per cent, making it the second most-watched programme in Northern Ireland in that timeslot.
Sky UK and Europe CEO Stephen Van Rooyen commented: “This was a night of unforgettable memories for Scottish football fans – and we are delighted to have shared the game with a large audience.
“Making the Scotland and Northern Ireland matches free to air was the right thing to do – we are proud to support football and football fans in these unprecedented, challenging times.”
There was also a huge audience on Sky Sports digital and social media platforms with over 4 million views of match highlights and post-match interviews via the Sky Sports website, app, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel.
Over 1 million viewers watched the highlights of the Scotland and Northern Ireland matches via the Sky Sports YouTube channel. 816,000 opting for Scotland’s victory while 101,000 viewing Northern Ireland’s defeat. An additional 227,000 views came from the website and app.
On Twitter, Sky Sports channels had over 1.7 million views of content from the Scotland and Northern Ireland matches. With Ryan Christie’s emotional post-match interview the most viewed with 681,000 views.
On Facebook, total views went over the 1.4 million mark for content across both matches. Additionally, more then 400,000 chose to follow the SkySports.com live blog for the Scotland encounter, while another 220,000 followed the latest from Northern Ireland.
*Audience viewing figures according to BARB