MANCHESTER, England, June 18 (Reuters) - Manchester City's 3-0 win over Arsenal as the Premier League returned to action on Wednesday attracted a peak of 3.4 million viewers, a 94 percent increase on the season's average audience, according to broadcasters Sky Sports.
The audience for the game, which averaged 3.1 million viewers, was close to the season's most-watched match on Sky Sports, October's clash between Manchester United and Liverpool.
That reached a peak of 3.6 million and was the highest ratings for a game on Sky Sports in seven years.
Sky said the earlier match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United drew a peak audience of 2.7 million (2.4 million average), which was a 43 percent increase on the season average, despite being played at a much earlier time than most midweek broadcasts.
The broadcasters said their online platform skysports.com also received impressive numbers with 4.9m unique users on the site and 12 million views of Premier League videos in less than 24 hours.
Broadcasts of league matches across Europe have also seen significant ratings rises.
(Reporting by Simon Evans Editing by Toby Davis)