Arsenal v Spurs ESPN2 TV Ratings Revealed


The Nielsen Ratings are in for ESPN2’s biggest match of the season thus far featuring the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Approximately 325,187 viewers watched the game in the United States which represents the third highest viewing figures for ESPN2’s coverage of the 2009-2010 Premier League season thus far.

Here are the TV ratings for the 14 EPL games ESPN2 has televised so far this season:

  1. Liverpool v Aston Villa, Mon., Aug. 24, 3 pm, 398,391 viewers
  2. Wigan v Man United, Sat., Aug. 22, 10 am, 374,799
  3. Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, Sat., Oct. 31, 8:45 am, 325,187 viewers
  4. Manchester City v West Ham United, Mon., Sept. 28, 3pm, 293,600
  5. Portsmouth v Everton, Sat., Sept. 26, 7:45am, 270,927
  6. Bolton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur, Sat., Oct. 3, 10am, 265,508
  7. Chelsea v Burnley, Sat., Aug. 29, 7:45 am, 253,934
  8. Liverpool v Burnley, Sat., Sept. 12, 10 am, 253,779
  9. Aston Villa v Manchester City, Mon., Oct. 5, 3 pm, 248,956
  10. Fulham v Hull City, Mon., Oct. 19, 3 pm, 209,207
  11. Aston Villa v Chelsea, Sat., Oct. 17, 7:45 am, 206,886
  12. Wolverhampton Wanderers v Aston Villa, Sat., Oct. 24, 7:45 am, 204,882
  13. Burnley v Sunderland, Sat., Sept. 19, 7:45 am, 199,380
  14. Chelsea v Hull City, Sat., Aug. 15, 7:45 am, 164,485

To be honest, I was disappointed by the number for the Arsenal against Spurs match. It’s a match that many of us have been looking forward to all season in terms of ratings, but it didn’t break the record as I had imagined it would. Still, with very little advertising and during a busy time of the sports year, the numbers are still higher than Fox Soccer Channel’s Premier League TV ratings.

And remember this is the highest rating thus far for an early Saturday morning kickoff (prior to 10am ET).

What are your thoughts about the ratings? Click below to share your feedback.

23 thoughts on “Arsenal v Spurs ESPN2 TV Ratings Revealed”

  1. I’m getting a bit tired of the weekly post telling us the tv ratings. Monthly reports would be fine but this is just getting old.

  2. I think, with DVR & Tivo, half of the US just recorded the match. Lets not forget that an 8:45am start time on the East coast is a 5:45am start time out west. I doubt seriously that these numbers are entirely accurate as to how many Gunners supporters actually watched the match in the US, although undoubtedly they do reflect how many people dragged themselves out of bed to watch. I wouldn’t make too much of the numbers not being “record setting”.

  3. I like the weekly updates. It appears that the audience really hasn’t grown when comparing the ESPN and FSC numbers. Just more people with ESPN. Not sure how the numbers are arrived at, but it may have been higher had the Fabregas not effectively killed off the match at the end of the first half. I really think football could catch on with ESPN if they would put a little more effort into it. It just seems to me that this is a means to an end for them and not the end itself.

  4. I think that any 300,000 + pull is strong for a cable network and shows that niche audiences exist for the EPL in the US. Hopefully ESPN can stick with it for a few more years and start to top the million mark

  5. Two points: (one) It’s possible that the DVR and TVO recordings are included in the numbers as the program is on in the subscribers homes even if they are not watching it at the original time. (two) I think ESPN should promote the football times on it’s other shows such as sports-center in a more consistent way or at least on Fridays and Sundays when there is a game on Monday which will definately be recorded by fans as it’s the middle of the work day.

    1. I had a conversation about this on another discussion board, I believe…

      From everything I’ve heard, Nielsen does in fact include DVR recordings in the ratings numbers. So, the west coast fans who record the game are being included.

      The big question in my mind: Why doesn’t ESPN promote it’s EPL coverage? I don’t believe I’ve seen a promo since the first week or two after they got the broadcast rights. And ESPN2 has booted La Liga for hunting shows a couple times now on Sunday afternoons. I’m getting the impression that ESPN is looking to get out of footie entirely after the World Cup. They don’t seem serious at all about it.

  6. TheSKAGooner has a good point about viewers for early kickoffs out West. When I used to live in British Columbia I had a terrible time trying to follow Arsenal live because the early kickoff was always at 5 or 6 in the morning. Even the most dedicated fans might not bother to DVR an EPL game. I find that I am much less likely to record a sporting event than other shows, probably because of the risk of spoilage if the score line is leaked. I cannot count the number of times I would record an Arsenal game from Saturday’s wee hours, only to go to the university training ground for our Saturday morning varsity practices or match day pre-games and have the game (which I was planning to watch that afternoon) spoiled because one of my teammates or coaches would come up and say “nice 1-0 win at United today!” or its equivalent.

    It’s much better now that I live on the East Coast.

    But that likely means that the ratings are based on a large number of Eastern viewers, and it highlights a problem for ESPNs attempts to market the EPL in the United States. The Eastern seaboard is close enough to follow sports in England. The West, not as much.

  7. I don’t really know why you expected it to beat a 3pm Mon start (the Liverpool game) or even 10am Sat anyway. At least with a 10am start it’s 7am on the west coast. That’s excellent for an 8:45 game. As usual I had to use a wake up service to phone me and went back to sleep after the game was over.

  8. No surprise there the US is not a football nation it’s actually kinda funny how many ppl in the us about 300 million and only 325,187 tuned in?! haha that’s sad..

  9. Going along with what a few others said, I think the major problem is ESPN is simply not advertising the matches like they used to. I watch ESPN quite a bit and actually have not seen a single advertisement for it lately except for the occasional mention of it during Sportscenter.

  10. FSC’s “rating” is actually the same as ESPNs. An average of 140,000 viewers out of a possible 34 million is a .025 rating which is actually not that different than ESPN’s average of 250,000 or so out of a possible 93 million. ESPN’s average rating may be slightly higher but it falls within the margin of error.

  11. It’s great that the games are in High Definition on ESPN2. There’s really no comparison. It would be nice if the re-broadcasted the game for west coasters, who are usually still asleep at 5 a.m. their time, although I assume they can record it on dvr (does Nielson pick up people who dvr games or only for people watching live?). Surely the average numbers for EPL games beat out poker tournaments and high school football, right?

  12. I like the weekly updates. Let’s see if the rating go up this week. I’m now an official Nielsen viewer! That will add a couple of million people to the ratings right? To answer one question, the Nielsen booklet does allow for DVR viewings. One question I have is the way they calibrate the ratings. For instance, I received my booklet last week – my viewing diary started on Thursday and ended yesterday. In between that time there have been a multitude of soccer games I’ve watched, noting all of them, including the Arsenal-Spurs game. So, does Nielsen add that to a total, or does it just help them with their estimates? Obviously, we need to have a podcast with the Nielsen people.

  13. I also like the weekly updates! Good job, Gaffer.
    I am hoping that a “big 4” matchup on Saturday at 10 am will bring half a million viewers by the end of the season. We’ll see.

  14. @Dan—–from posted 9/1/09

    “Through 10 episodes, the 2009 WSOP has earned an average rating of .75, which translates to 741,311 household impressions. That is up about 3 percent from 2008’s .73 rating through this time period, which translated to 704,826 household impressions, according to ESPN.”

    1. Considering the amount of advertising WSOP gets this seems rather low in comparison to the audience EPL has with practically no adverts….Come on ESPN let’s see some quality EPL/La Liga commericals or admit you really don’t care about the growth of the beautiful game in America,,,,,”He who dares, wins”

  15. If the poker ratings are indeed correct, it is quite sad that more people in the US watch poker than the Premier League. But, then, one ought to keep in mind that the poker shows are being shown in prime time, and the Premier League games are very early in the morning, especially if you live in the West Coast…

  16. I don’t know why you would expect the game to have higher ratings. The EPL is a niche market in the US and the game is on at an early time. I am an Arsenal fan on the east coast and slept through the first half of the match.

    If ESPN wanted to attract more viewers, they need to show later games and promote the EPL more. Having a random match early morning is not going to help attract new fans to the sport. The only people who make the effort to watch it are dedicated fans of the EPL, which is a small niche in the US. I would like them to play more games a week and use the 10 am time slot. They can play two football matches in the morning and then play American football in the afternoon.

    1. Sorry Brian, but it’s not going to happen. Fox Soccer Channel has won the TV rights to the Premier League for the 2010-2013 seasons, which means they’ll be in the driving seat while Setanta and ESPN2 will pick up the less appealing timeslots.

      We’ll find out between now and the end of the year whether ESPN2 and Setanta will maintain the same timeslots for 2010-2013 as they currently have now.

      The Gaffer

  17. I’d say thats a great number considering the time this is at. Wasn’t a lot of promotion (if any) so all in all I think this is good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *