FOX Broadcasting Company broke the record Sunday for the most viewed English Premier League game in U.S. television history. The tape-delayed game featuring Chelsea against Liverpool scored an audience of 1.67 million, beating out the previous record of 1.626 million who watched the Tottenham Hotspur against Arsenal match last month.
In just two months, FOX has increased the number of its viewers by 70,000 from the 1.6 million who watched the September 18 broadcast (Manchester United against Chelsea) to the November 20 number (Chelsea and Liverpool).
What was the impact of CNN talk show host Piers Morgan, who was one of FOX’s studio analysts? An extra 74,000 viewers on FOX compared to the 1.626 million (Tottenham versus Arsenal), although it’s only fair to add that the game featured different teams which may have made more of an impact, either positive or negative.
While FOX showed the Chelsea versus Liverpool game on tape-delay, FOX Soccer showed it live and it was seen by an audience of 360,000. That was 59,000 more viewers than the North London derby from October.
FOX has announced that they have one more Premier League match on their schedule this season. That’s the live telecast of Chelsea against Manchester United on Super Bowl Sunday (February 5). Based on the impressive TV ratings, it’ll be interesting to see if FOX decides to add more games to its schedule when there is no NFL double-header.
The live broadcast of the 2011 Champions League Final on FOX was viewed by 2.6 million, in the U.S.