Nearly 2.5 Million Watch Man Utd vs Chelsea on U.S. Television

FOX Broadcasting Company scored a hit on Sunday for their first-ever broadcast of a Premier League game. The match between Manchester United and Chelsea generated a 1.0 household rating with 1.6 million viewers, while 456,000 watched the live broadcast of the game on FOX Soccer earlier that day, and an impressive 430,000 watched the game live on FOX Deportes.

In total, the combined audience was 2,486,000 viewers, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research.

The record-setting tape-delayed Premier League match on FOX is second in total audience to this year’s LIVE UEFA Champions League Final, also on FOX and FOX Deportes (4.2 million for FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United), and its total audience of 2.5 million eclipsed that of the LIVE 2010 Champions League Final on FOX and FOX Sports en Español (2.2 million for Inter Milan – Bayern Munich) and the 2009 match between Manchester United and Barcelona (2.1 million) on ESPN.

The top-10 markets for FOX Sports taped-delayed Chelsea at Manchester United match: New Orleans (10.2); Raleigh-Durham (3.7); Greensboro (3.3); Richmond (2.8); Birmingham (2.6); Washington, DC (2.6); Greenville, SC (2.4); Memphis (2.4); Charlotte (2.2); Louisville (2.2); and Pittsburgh (2.2).

19 thoughts on “Nearly 2.5 Million Watch Man Utd vs Chelsea on U.S. Television”

  1. Yeah, New Orleans-Chicago immediately preceding…yet on Fox here in Chicago, the match wasn’t shown because of Bears post-game…

  2. The other interesting thing about the ratings for the top 10 cities is that none of them are on the west coast. They’re either predominately east coast or mid-coast cities.

    The Gaffer

  3. For us American viewers with Directv will this mean a move for Fox Soccer to the Choice or Choice Xtra packages instead of just on the Sports Pack? I mean the viewership for EPL is there. Quite frankly its kind of amazing that soccer did so well on a day with NFL games on. These ratings will definitely change the view of the sport for other networks too.I’d imagine for the cities that didn’t show it that maybe the people who run the local Fox affiliates did it on purpose because of a hate for the sport especially if they chose to run infomercials or old sitcom reruns instead.

    1. In the Twin Cities they ran infomercials instead. They also cut into the CL Final in May and made fun of it on air. Quite ridiculous and sad that they would rather have an attitude like that then actually improve their image and make money. I mean, one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the world is held right here in the Twin Cities every year, but somehow soccer is a joke to these people. It really frustrates me.

  4. The New Orleans number blows me away. New Orleans did a ridiculous 51.8 rating and a 75 share for the Bears/Saints game. New Orleans as far as I understand was the only market to JIP the United/Chelsea game about a 1/2 hour into the game because the local station had a local Saints Post Game Show. It’s amazing that so many people watched the Saints Post Game and stayed to watch the Premier League match instead of flipping to the other NFL game on CBS.

  5. Impressive.

    I think the demand for top European football is extremely high, at least relatively speaking.

    To be fair, I don’t go out of my way to watch or attend MLS…and I think my rationale is the same as that of many fans of the game; why settle for something that is supremely sub par in quality when the good stuff is readily available.

    I know it’s not helping move the game forward in this country, per se, but it’s just the reality of it.

    1. Because maybe it is not as supremely sub par? I’d rather watch MLS than many of the mid and bottom tier EPL teams.

      The Eurosnob is the cancer that is killing soccer’s potential in this country even though MLS is growing quite quickly. Want a great league in your country? Then support it! It is not going to take that long. Living vicariously through someone else’s league is not going to push soccer into the mainstream in your own country. 15 years from now, we are going to laugh about the time American posers were sitting around watching boring English soccer when we have a world class league right here.

  6. Well from these numbers all I can guess is that people in the south don’t have remote controls. The numbers just seem very very strange. I watched the game live, flipped over to watch the pre game on Fox to see Vinny Jones and to see the production value of Fox v FS.

    Frankly, I’m not really pleased with the idea of tape delay. And while I’m happy to see the reach of ‘football’ extend beyond a speciality channel, the business model of playing tape delayed matches is one that is bound for failure.

    1. Why is it bound for failure? It’s a win-win for everyone. FOX Soccer gets to attract new viewers that otherwise may not have been aware that the channel even existed. FOX gets high ratings that they can sell to advertisers. Soccer fans get a chance to watch the game in HD if they don’t have FOX Soccer in HD. What’s there to lose?

      The Gaffer

      1. I didn’t see on FS promotion in the prematch I watched.

        I’m all for ‘football’ on the mother ship, but it has a bit of a Soccer Made in Germany feel. We live in an instant communications world. I want to be able to look at the live table, not avoid it cause the game’s on TV three hours latter.

        Sport should be live, or rebroadcast not tape delayed to fit into a programming schedule.

        I’d love to have PL match of the week on FOX on Saturday morning, with another on FS and another on ESPN. That would be a winning recipe for American soccer fans. Sundays will never work during the NFL season, but bring it on in late winter and spring!!!!

      2. The numbers would have been much higher with the game being shown right after the Bears game in Chicago. The lead in would have been huge. I do agree with the above caller that the future of EPL games on over the air tv has to be other than tape delay. The US audience has always wanted things live. What key happen light years from now is a Sunday kickoff for the EPL that’s at 1:00pm Est so it cans go live.

    2. I agree, I do prefer live games, but here in the states the “live” epl games are played in the early morning hours. So to get the highest rating, the airings have to be delayed.

  7. Its interesting that all those markets hosted 1 pm NFL games. I’m not sure what the explanation is. Each market should have gotten the 4:15 Chargers-Patriots game on CBS, so there was more NFL for people who wanted to watch. I don’t know why no markets with road teams playing 1 pm games were in the top 10.

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