Last Saturday’s telecast of El Clásico between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu was the highest-rated and most-watched program on Spanish-language cable television this year.
El Clásico was seen on ESPN Deportes by an average of 466,000 Hispanic homes and 783,000 Hispanic viewers. As for the normal La Liga matches shown on ESPN Deportes every weekend, the live telecasts average 95,000 Hispanic households and 139,000 Hispanic viewers.
These figures are great news in the United States for ESPN Deportes and its Spanish-speaking population. The Primera División de México, the Mexican football league, is by far the most watched football league for Hispanics in the United States, and for a foreign league to garner consistent support on a weekly basis can only help spread the popularity of La Liga and Spanish football throughout the United States. Considering the fact that ESPN, DirecTV, and Gol TV cannot set their weekly schedules too far ahead because of the LFP’s policy of revealing kickoff times only seven to ten days before each round, ESPN Deportes has done well to attract this many viewers.
On hand, I do not have the ratings for Gol TV and its English language telecast of El Clásico, but with Gol TV as a bilingual channel, the number of viewers should be on par or even greater than those who watched Real Madrid -Barcelona on ESPN Deportes.