SOUTHAMPTON’S shock win over Manchester City was the most-watched Premier League game ever.
A record 5.7million tuned into the BBC’s live coverage of the game at St Mary’s on Sunday evening.
It was just the third Premier League game the BBC have broadcast after acquiring rights for four matches as part of football’s return.
And with the channel readily available to all, viewers tuned in to catch a surprise result.
Che Adams’ 40-yard stunner, lobbing City stopper Ederson, with 16 minutes on the clock proved to be the only goal of the game.
It was the Saints striker’s first top-flight goal and enough to condemn Pep Guardiola’s side to a ninth league defeat of the campaign.
With Gary Lineker joined in the studio by Alan Shearer and Micah Richards, the 5.7m peak audience eclipsed the previous record held by Sky Sports – set on June 21 as Everton and Liverpool played out a 0-0 bore draw.
That Merseyside derby drew in 5.5m at its peak with an average of 5m across Sky Sports and Freeview channel Pick.
Southampton’s win over City followed Bournemouth’s home defeat to Crystal Palace on the returning weekend and Everton’s narrow victory at Norwich which were both shown on the BBC.
Steve Rudge, BBC Lead Executive, Football said: “Having the Premier League on the BBC has been great for our viewers and we were delighted to deliver this compelling game to the widest free-to-air audience as BBC Football continues to capture the drama of the Premier League and the FA Cup.”
The fourth and final live game in the BBC’s package deal will be Burnley’s home clash with Wolves on July 15.
The Beeb will then show the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester United on the following Sunday as well as the final on August 1.