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Everton vs. Liverpool broke 8-year Premier League record on top flight’s return

Everton vs. Liverpool, the penultimate game in the Premier League‘s first full round of fixtures since its restart, broke the record for viewing figures since 1992.

The Reds return to action was one of the most anticipated as the English top flight made its return last week, with a derby at Goodison the perfect setting.

But while the game proved to be less than entertaining, playing out to a 0-0 draw with few chances at either end, it still attracted record-breaking viewers.

As part of the Premier League‘s agreement on the resumption of the campaign, Everton vs. Liverpool was made free-to-air by Sky Sports.

This resulted in a peak of 5.5 million viewers for Sunday’s stalemate, with an average of five million over the 90 minutes, which makes it the most-watched Premier League game in UK history.

Previously, the record was the Manchester derby in April 2012, with four million watching Man City‘s 1-0 victory over title rivals Man United.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, June 21, 2019: Players stand for a moment's silence to remember the victims of the pandemic during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 236th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The BBC’s first live Premier League game, Crystal Palace‘s 2-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday night, saw a peak of 3.9 million viewers in the UK.

While there was an obvious attraction to the Merseyside derby, as a game which could have seen Liverpool take a big step towards the title at the expense of their neighbours, it being free-to-air clearly had a major role to play in it breaking the record.

Liverpool’s next game, at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, could have similar ramifications but will not be free-to-air, and therefore it is likely there will be a drop in viewership.

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