Much hyped advertising drama Mad Men has seen its audience slump to just 47,000 since the latest series debuted on Sky Atlantic, inflicting satellite broadcaster Sky with a £5 loss for each viewer.
Sky poached the rights to the series from the BBC after offering three times as much cash, but that decision is now hitting it in the pocket after over 300,000 former BBC4 viewers elected to wait for the box set instead.
Sky is understood to be stumping up more than £250k per episode to screen the series but the poor performance has surprised many, particularly with the saturation coverage given to the show in the media.
A Sky spokesman said: ‘In Sky homes Mad Men has never been more popular.
'When you look at those who watched the first episode of Mad Men live, or caught up through Sky+ or on-demand, it was the most watched episode in Sky homes ever, and by some margin.’
‘We’re delighted with the response from Sky customers and will continue to invest in the shows that create more value for our existing customers and give more people a reason to join Sky.’