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Carabao Cup Final breaks viewing figures record

Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final was watched by a record audience of 4.26 million people on Sky Sports in the UK, as Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United overcame the challenge of Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United, to win 2-0 and lift the Carabao Cup for a sixth time.

The peak audience was 60,000 higher than the previous record set in 2022 during the Final between Liverpool and Chelsea. The average audience for the match was over half a million viewers higher than the previous year, with 3.79 million viewers tuning in across the 90 minutes in the UK and millions more watching around the globe with the match taken by 26 broadcasters and shown across 183 international territories. This record audience was driven by the reach of Sky Sports and extensive promotion of the competition across all linear, digital and social platforms by the broadcaster.

This impressive growth has been reflected across the whole competition with the cumulative television audience rising to over 18 million, an increase of over one million on 2021-22, while the average audience was 1.2 million, up from 1.13 million. Sky has continued to grow audiences for the Carabao Cup, with its investment and strong partnership with the EFL benefiting all clubs in the League. The television audience figures are even more encouraging when combined with fan attendance throughout this season’s competition.

87,306 supporters from Manchester and Newcastle filled the National Stadium on Sunday, the tournament’s highest final attendance since the 2014-15 season. The total number of fans attending a Carabao Cup fixture this season is almost at 1.6 million, with an average fixture attendance of 16,685, both the highest since 2001-02.

Attendances were up 8% in this season’s competition, with over 74,000 in Old Trafford as Erik Ten Hag’s side defeated Charlton Athletic to book their place in the semi-final.

Newcastle United carved their way to the final with four home victories with over 50,000 supporters at St James’ Park in wins over Crystal Palace (51,660), Bournemouth (51,579), Leicester City (52,009) and Southampton (51,975).

Social media also proved extremely popular on the day of the final with content from the EFL’s social channels reaching 9.5 million accounts, with videos views over 4.5 million (and a total of 9.2 million video views as of three days after the Final).

Ben Wright, EFL Chief Commercial Officer, said:

“These record-breaking figures demonstrate the continued popularity of the Carabao Cup, and the value the competition holds in the football calendar for supporters up and down the country.

“Over four million people watching at home and 87,000 spectators in the ground represented a fitting finale to a fantastic 2022-23 competition, and I would like to thank Sky Sports for making the coverage of this season’s Carabao Cup the best yet.”

Jonathan Licht, Managing Director at Sky Sports said “We are proud to be long term partners of the EFL and Carabao Cup, providing millions of fans access to the competitions across all our platforms. Through our scale, promotion, and innovation in coverage, we have continued to grow audiences for the Carabao Cup, and are pleased to see that reflected in this years’ final, in partnership with the EFL.”

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