ITV Sport 'delighted' as viewing figures rise at last

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The Independent Football

ITV Digital, which has seen the future of its three-year £315m Nationwide League and Worthington Cup football deal come under scrutiny, yesterday claimed that audience figures are rising.

The company was particularly delighted with audience figures for Liverpool's 2-0 Champions' League victory over Borussia Dortmund at Anfield on Tuesday. A spokesman for ITV Digital yesterday refused to discuss the recent war of words with its rivals BSkyB, but claimed: "We have a deal and we are getting some pretty good figures in terms of viewers. We had a league match averaging 120,000 which is pretty good.

"And Liverpool's Champions' League match was outstanding, averaging 185,000 with a peak of a quarter of a million. It's an extraordinarily good result."

Wimbledon will have their appeal against a refused application to move to Milton Keynes heard by a judicially-appointed independent arbitration panel.

The board of the First Division club – who currently share Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace – saw their proposed move rejected by the Football League earlier this season, and fans' groups are opposed to any switch.

But a League spokesman John Nagle confirmed: "Wimbledon have the right to appeal under FA regulations, and the type of appeal they have chosen is arbitration.

"However, the Football League remains constant in its view that to permit the type of move proposed by Wimbledon would not be in the best interests of the national game or its traditions." No date has yet been set for the hearing.

Newcastle United's Premiership match at Fulham will definitely go ahead as scheduled on Saturday 17 November.

There was a possibility the fixture could be put back 24 hours, with the United pair Shay Given and Andy O'Brien and Cottagers' defender Steve Finnan included in the Republic of Ireland squad for the World Cup play-off second leg with Iran on the previous Thursday. But a club spokesman for the Magpies said: "The game scheduled to be played at Fulham will definitely go ahead as planned on 17 November."

The game will give the Magpies another chance to end their depressing run in London, which currently stands at 26 visits without a win dating back to November 1997.

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