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Lineker tops list of most-watched TV football presenters
Gary Lineker has come out top in a media analysis of football presenters from Sky Sports, ITV, BBC and Five to find who is the most-watched.
By: Propeller Communications
The BBC1 front man scored impressively, with 56% of the UK population having watched him on Match of the Day at least once during the last year. Lineker’
ITV presenters ranked third and fourth in the league, with Steve Rider claiming 26% and Jim Rosenthal following closely behind with 23%.
Comparatively, Sky’s team hardly register any sort of breadth of coverage - save Richard Keys, who presents Sky’s Premiership matches. But Jeff Stelling (Soccer Saturday), Andy Gray (Ford Super Sunday), George Gavin (Football League) and Keys all have a loyal following, shown by their big average frequencies in the analysis. In fact, take Lineker out of the equation, and this Sky quartet leads the loyalty league with viewers.
1. Gary Lineker, Match of the Day, BBC1, 56%
2. Adrian Chiles, Match of the Day 2, BBC2, 40%
3. Steve Rider, Champions League Games, ITV, 26%
4. Jim Rosenthal, Champions League Games & Highlights, ITV, 23%
5. Richard Keys, Premiership Games Sky Sports, 21%
6. Matt Smith, Championship/
7. Manish Bashin, Football Focus, BBC1, 17%
8. Andy Gray, Ford Super Sunday, Sky Sports, 10%
9. Colin Murray, UEFA Games, Five, 8%
10. George Gavin, Coca Cola Games, Sky Sports, 5%
SOURCE: Media Planning Group and BARB data: 1 August 2006 – 31 July 2007
• “%” is the percentage of the population who have viewed the presenter hosting that programme one time or more this year – a measure of broad appeal.
The research was carried out by media planning agency MPG. Marc Mendoza, managing partner, said: “Despite the myriad alternatives open to the nation at 10.30 on a Saturday night, Lineker (and his cohorts) consistently attract a lot of viewers. Last season, he was watched by most of the UK population at least once on the show – the only presenter who can claim such a feat.”
Mendoza goes on to explain the differences between the channels: “While Sky remains the preserve of those prepared to pay for the privilege, its presenters will always struggle to compete for the broad fame that ITV’s, and the BBC’s, enjoy from their free-to-air terrestrial platform.”
Neil Beston / Gemma Dunbar
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