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BT Sport coverage reaches new heights

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More than a third of a million people watched Leicester Tigers' Aviva Premiership Clash with London Wasps at the weekend, according to new viewing figures released today.

The game at Adams Park on Sunday attracted a peak audience of 357,000 viewers, the second highest audience for a live Premiership Rugby match since the 2009/10 season.

The BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) figures showed that the game averaged 276,000 viewers. Saturday’s clash between Northampton Saints and Saracens attracted an average of 224,000 viewers while Friday’s West Country derby between Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby attracted an average of 167,000 viewers.

Across BT Sport's live coverage and the ITV Highlights, 1.2 million people watched Aviva Premiership Rugby last weekend with 667,000 people watching BT Sport's live matches and 540,000 people watching the ITV Highlights shows.

Dominic Hayes, Premiership Rugby commercial director said: "This is the biggest live audience we have seen across a Premiership Rugby weekend in the last four seasons.

“The increase in numbers is partly a result of BT Sport making their coverage available free across multiple platforms this weekend although BT Sport's viewing figures were already up 90 per cent after the first five rounds and continue to rise.

“In addition, the Sunday Highlights show on ITV4 continues to grow with its highest ever audience of 217,000 this weekend showing that it has become must-see viewing for many Aviva Premiership Rugby supporters.”

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: "We are delighted that our total average audience for Aviva Premiership Rugby matches is higher than that for Sky Sports at the same stage last season despite their much bigger customer base and roughly three times ESPN's last season.

“We are enjoying bringing rugby to wider audiences and helping to grow the game. I'm delighted that the rapidly increasing TV audience figures show that this is happening."