ESPN2′s live broadcast of Arsenal against Chelsea on Monday, December 27 was the most watched Premier League game in U.S. history. The match, which was broadcast from 3-5pm ET, garnered a 0.5 rating and was viewed by an estimated viewing audience of 610,000.
In comparison, the 2010 MLS Cup Final between Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas earned a 0.4 rating and a viewing audience of 748,000, which was down 44% from the 2009 final. The 2010 final was televised on ESPN on a Sunday night from 8:30-11:45pm ET.
The previous record audience for a Premier League game on U.S. television was set earlier in December when 570,000 people watched the game between Manchester United and Arsenal, also on ESPN2. Prior to that, the record was an audience of 540,000 who viewed Manchester United against Chelsea on ESPN2 in April, 2010. As you can see, the popularity of the English Premier League on U.S. television continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and it’s no wonder that a Premier League team such as Manchester United aims to capitalize on the growing interest when it tours the United States this summer to play teams such as Barcelona as well as possible friendlies in Chicago at Wrigley Field and Portland at its refurbished Timbers stadium.