The Argentine superstar, Lionel Messi made his PSG debut in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Reims and the game broke viewership records in Spain – ‘The Lionel Messi effect’.
Messi’s PSG debut game averaged over 2 million viewers in Spain, making it the most-watched football game in the country ever. On the other hand, Barcelona’s game which was on pay-per-view television averaged only 591,000 viewers. The reason why Messi is one of the most popular athletes in the world.
Kosmos Holdings, Gerard Pique’s company secured the broadcasting rights to Ligue One in the country. And astonishingly their first broadcast was the most-viewed French league fixture in Spanish history. According to L’Equipe, over 10.5 million viewers in France tuned in to the PSG game. The six-time ballond’Or’s PSG debut was broadcasted on the free-to-air channel Telecinco in Spain. There was an average of 343,000 spectators and 2 million unique Spanish viewers on Ibai Llanos’ Twitch channel. In total, over 6.7 million people tuned in to watch PSG’s win at some point during the 90 minutes.
The 34-year-old started the game from the bench and entered in the 66th minute replacing Neymar. The whole stadium erupted in joy as soon as Messi entered the ground. When he entered the fray, PSG was already leading 2-0, thanks to Mbappe, and Messi did not have too much of an impact on the game. After playing for nearly 30 minutes, Messi ended the game with a pass accuracy of 95.2% and had 26 touches of the ball.