ESPN this week broke the record for the largest TV viewing audience ever for a Premier League match shown on U.S. television. The game between Manchester United and Arsenal, which was shown live on ESPN2 at 3pm ET on Monday, December 13, 2010 scored a 0.4 rating and was watched by an estimated 570,000 viewers.
The previous record for a Premier League match shown on U.S. television was the April 3, 2010 game between Manchester United and Chelsea. That broadcast garnered a 0.4 rating with an estimated viewing audience of 526,000. The new record of 570,000 viewers represents an 8% increase compared to the previous record audience of 526,000. That Manchester United against Chelsea match was a Saturday, 7:45am ET kick-off. Prior to the United against Chelsea record, the highest viewing audience for a Premier League game on U.S. television was in August 2009 when 398,391 watched Liverpool versus Aston Villa.
ESPN also broke another record this week. In its first year of televising Premier League games, ESPN Deportes achieved a 2.4 Hispanic rating for its live broadcast of Manchester United against Arsenal. That translates into an estimated 175,000 viewers, which is a record for the network.
The next high profile Premier League match to be shown on U.S. television is this Sunday’s clash between Chelsea and Manchester United. The game will be shown live on Fox Soccer Channel beginning at 11am ET.