What televised sport can your pub show this summer?

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

The heat is on: the Premier League may have ended but there is plenty of sport for your customers to enjoy throughout summer
The heat is on: the Premier League may have ended but there is plenty of sport for your customers to enjoy throughout summer
Here’s how you can keep sports fans happy over the summer after the conclusion of the Premier League season.

After 275 days and arguably the most gripping Premier League title race since the competition’s inception in 1992, English top-­flight football has the summer off until 10 August.

However, with an embarrassment of televised riches this summer, fans will still be looking to the pub for their sporting fix.

With 93% of sport-watching pubgoers stating they return to the same pub to watch sport according to MatchPint, pubs have a chance to keep these creatures of habit engaged throughout a Premier League-free summer.

Here’s a rundown of this summer’s sport to help you maintain footfall while the Premier League rests:

Cricket World Cup - (30 May until 14 July) - Sky Sports

Cricket and outdoor drinking go together like bat and ball. With this summer’s 48 Cricket World Cup matches hosted in England at pub friendly times, and with each one lasting eight hours on average, there’s ample opportunity for publicans to pack out their beer gardens.

More than 720,000 people watched day two of the England v India Test match in their local last summer, and behind football and rugby union, cricket is the most popular sport among pubgoers over the age of 55.

When you consider England are expected to go deep into this summer’s tournament or, whisper it quietly, win the thing, screening the Cricket World Cup feels like an ideal way for publicans to help sport fans stave off Premier League withdrawals.

UEFA Nations League finals - (5 June until 9 June) - Sky Sports

This is not a drill – England’s senior men’s side has the chance to win a trophy.

Granted it’s the nascent Nations League rather than traditionally coveted international gongs, but there’s no denying Gareth Southgate and his Lions are playing the most exciting football at national team level for a generation.

While the Nations League has been a slow burner in pubs – according to a Twitter poll by The Morning Advertiser​ only 50% of pub operators saw better trading than in international friendlies and tournament qualifiers – the prospect of silverware and pints in hot weather is likely drive footfall.

England play the Netherlands in their semi-final on 6 June with a place in the final on 9 June in Porto, Portugal, at stake where either Switzerland or Portugal await. Whether England take the inaugural title or not, expect airborne lager and drama.

Women’s World Cup - (7 June until 7 July) - BBC

England’s women get their 2019 World Cup campaign under way against Scotland on the same day as the Nations League final, potentially offering publicans a dream double on 9 June.

After winning the SheBelieves Cup, Phil Neville’s side are approaching the peak of their powers just as popularity of the women’s game at home is soaring.

The 2015 World Cup was watched by 764m viewers worldwide, with 4m people tuning in to watch England Women’s European Championship final against the Netherlands two years later. Amy Drucquer, founder of This Fan Girl community project for female football fans, predicts that this year’s tournament will be the biggest audience for women’s football “by a country mile”.

Moreover, according to MatchPint, 56% of surveyed pubgoers said they would watch the games this summer in a pub as opposed to 6% at home.

Wimbledon - (1 July until 14 July) - BBC

Free of any World Cup clashes, arguably the classiest outdoor drinking event of the year returns with Pimm’s, strawberries & cream and, for the last time, Andy Murray in 2019.

Tour de France - (6 July until 28 July) - ITV4 and Eurosport

It feels unfair to describe watching the Tour de France at the pub as a change of pace from football, but the engrossing stages of this year’s tour – each one played out over roughly 200 tactically fraught kilometres – could offer customers a longer and less rowdy day at the pub. Just don’t let them cycle home afterwards.

Netball World Cup - (12 July until 21 July) - Sky Sports and BBC

O­ff the back of Commonwealth gold in 2018 and two awards at the most recent BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) Awards, England’s netball team will hope to seal world cup glory in Liverpool this summer.

With Tracey Neville’s side was watched by 1.8m people on TV during their dramatic Commonwealth final last year and the sport’s in-home viewing increasing by 117% o­ the back of Sky Sports’ increased coverage of England’s domestic league, dedicating screen time to the Roses this summer could help pubs net a profit.

The Open golf tournament - (18 July until 21 July) - Sky Sports

The 2018 Masters tournament was watched in pubs by close to 1m people, so this year’s majors are definitely worth the attention of sport pub bosses – especially with a resurgent Tiger Woods back in contention for the claret jug.

The Ashes First Test - (1 August until 5 August) - Sky Sports

Following on from this summer’s World Cup, Australia travel to the UK to defend the Ashes with the first test getting under way at Edgbaston in early August.

The last time they toured these shores in pursuit of an urn smaller than a standard pint glass, on average, half a million people per day watched in pubs.

Formula One World Championship - Sky Sports

Across June and July the Formula One calendar includes races in Canada, France, Austria, Britain, Germany and Hungary. While in one respect it’s been the same old story as Mercedes lead the constructors’ championship by almost 100 points, defending world champion Lewis Hamilton faces a stern test from team-mate Valtteri Bottas as he looks to claim an historic sixth world title.

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