BBC’s first ever Premier League game falls narrowly short of most-watched match record

Top flight’s most-viewed fixture ever saw Manchester City defeat rivals United in 2012

Alex Pattle
Sunday 21 June 2020 13:23 BST
Premier League match preview: Everton v Liverpool

The BBC‘s first ever live Premier League match drew in nearly four million viewers, figures have shown, making it the second-most-watched game in the competition’s history.

Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0 in a 7.45pm kick-off on Saturday that attracted a high of 3.9 million viewers, with 3.6m the average throughout the game.

In 2012, 4m viewers saw Manchester City beat rivals United as Roberto Mancini’s men closed in on the Premier League title.

In Saturday’s game, Palace captain Luka Milivojevic opened the scoring with a stunning free-kick before Jordan Ayew stabbed in his side’s second of the evening and his ninth of the season.

The result saw Bournemouth remain in the relegation zone with eight games remaining.

“The first-ever Premier League game to be broadcast on the BBC between Bournemouth and Crystal Palace yesterday attracted a peak TV audience of 3.9m (24.5 per cent share) on BBC One and an average 3.6m (22 per cent share) for the match,” the BBC announced on Sunday.

“This was the first time top-flight English league football had been shown on the BBC since 1988.

“The return of Match of the Day to its Saturday night BBC One slot pulled in a peak TV audience of 2.7m.”

Information from PA contributed to this article.

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