ESPN and FOX are not only competitive when it comes to bidding for World Cup TV rights. They’re also very competitive in the TV ratings game, namely the number of viewers watching Premier League matches on U.S. television.
EPL Talk can reveal that ESPN2’s broadcast of the Premier League game between Liverpool and Manchester United on Saturday, October 15 had a viewing audience of 456,000 — which is exactly the same number of people who watched the September 18 broadcast of Manchester United against Chelsea on FOX Soccer. Both games represent the largest TV viewing audiences so far for U.S. coverage of the 2011-12 Premier League.
Meanwhile, 48,000 viewers watched Liverpool against Manchester United on ESPN Deportes.