The first ever live Premier League match shown on free-to-air network television in the United States delivered 1.3 million viewers for the Sunday, January 22 match between Arsenal and Manchester United on FOX. The broadcast delivered a 0.8 rating
The viewing figure of 1.3 million doubled the previous record high for live coverage of a Premier League match on either ESPN (528,000 for Manchester United-Arsenal, December 2010) and FOX Soccer (418,000 for Chelsea vs Liverpool, February 2011). The record-high for any Premier League match is the 1.67 million who watched the tape-delay of Chelsea against Liverpool on FOX in November, 2011.
Despite the fact that the broadcast of Arsenal against Manchester United was not shown in approximately 10% of US markets, FOX was able to provide live coverage in just under 100 million homes.
According to a FOX Sports representative, Sunday’s game rated lower than FOX’s tape-delayed EPL broadcasts earlier this season which followed NFL games. With the benefit of a later time slot and the enormous NFL lead-in or lead-out, those matches averaged a 1.1 rating nationally.
The next Premier League match that will be shown live on free-to-air network television in the United States is the February 5 encounter between Chelsea and Manchester United on FOX at 10:30am ET on Super Bowl Sunday (check local listings).