UPDATED: FOX’s live broadcast of Arsenal against Manchester United delivered a 0.9 overnight rating, according to Sports Business Journal. This compares to a 1.5 overnight rating from the record-breaking Chelsea against Liverpool match from November 20, which was shown on tape delay on FOX.
Two factors that can explain the decrease are (1) the Chelsea against Liverpool game was shown on tape delay during a more favorable timeslot of either 2-4pm or 4:30-6:30pm (depending on the local market), compared to 11am-1pm ET, and (2) the game wasn’t shown live in six of the top 56 markets that make up the overnight TV ratings.
“While unfortunate, the tape delay in certain markets did not at all influence the rating,” said a FOX Sports spokesperson. “The fall EPL matches on FOX. which averaged a 1.3 overnight, benefited from the enormous audiences that adjoining NFL programming provided. Obviously, yesterday’s match did not, so a decline was not unexpected. The soccer audience may have also been negatively impacted slightly by breaking news coverage of the death of Joe Paterno. News of the passing was confirmed just prior to 10:30am.”