1.1 Million Watch Chelsea Beat Barcelona On FX and FOX Deportes In United States

More than 1.1 million in the United States watched the Chelsea against Barcelona semi-final first leg on FX and FOX Deportes combined, according to FOX Sports.

The Wednesday, April 18 UEFA Champions League match garnered 592,000 viewers on FX (21% more than last year’s first leg semi-final between Real Madrid and Barcelona), while 566,000 watched the same game on FOX Deportes. The audience of 592,000 is a new record for a soccer game on FX, and — according to FOX Sports — the most-watched Champions League non-final ever in US history.

Meanwhile, the first semifinal match on Tuesday, April 17, a 2-1 Bayern Munich win over Real Madrid on FOX Soccer scored 308,000 viewers, up +20% from the network’s first semifinal (FC Schalke 04 vs. Manchester United FC).

The return legs take place in Spain this week, with FC Barcelona hosting Chelsea FC on Tuesday, April 24 (FOX Soccer/2:00 PM ET) and Bayern Munich traveling to Real Madrid’s famed Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday, April 25 (FX/2:00 PM ET). FOX Soccer’s Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and guest analyst Brian McBride preview and break down all of the semifinal action on UEFA Champions League Pregame, at 2:00 PM ET each match day from FOX Soccer’s studio at the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles.

These four historic clubs are playing for a spot in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, the game’s marquee club showcase, live from Munich on Saturday, May 19 at 2:00 PM ET on FOX (pregame coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET on FOX Soccer).

10 thoughts on “1.1 Million Watch Chelsea Beat Barcelona On FX and FOX Deportes In United States”

  1. I think Fox is learning that if they put the games on cable networks, they’ll get big numbers.

    I assume the reason they’ve gone with one semi on FX, one on FSC is b/c they know they can’t cannibalize all of the “premium” games from FSC, lest they lose from their small subscriber base.

    Make me think that the idea of converting their existing cable channels to Fox Sports 1/2/3/etc. and spreading the soccer content through there is an idea that needs to happen.

  2. Is that a good figure? From an outsiders perspective with no knowledge of US viewing habits I’d say 1.1m was pretty decent considering football (soccer) is still not a mainstream sport in the same way as NFL etc over in the US? Nice to see it going strong. The match got an average of 7.2m viewers over here in the UK on ITV1 which is huge compared to the figures Sky Sports get for their live football.

    Out of curiosity, what are general figures like for football coverage in the US? Does it tend to fare well? I presume Premier League does the best from the international leagues? Does Champions League tend to perform better?

    1. 592,000 is a decent number but the Premier League ratings (for the big matches, at least) tend to be higher. For example, 1.67 million watched Chelsea against Liverpool on US TV in November, on FOX (free-to-air) — see http://epltalk.com/fox-breaks-record-for-most-watched-english-premier-league-game-in-u-s-tv-history-37302

      TV viewing audience numbers for the Premier League continue to increase on FOX, FOX Soccer and ESPN, while MLS TV ratings are down 18% on ESPN so far this season. MLS TV viewing audiences used to be much higher than the Premier League, but during the past three years, the TV ratings (and viewing audience numbers) for the Premier League have catapulted way ahead of MLS.

      Here’s Premier League TV viewing numbers for 2008 through 2011. The embedded widget takes a while to load, but it’s worth a look after it pops up: http://epltalk.com/premier-league-tv-viewing-audience-numbers-in-the-united-states-2008-11-36602

      The Gaffer

  3. You have to bear in mind that the US population is five times larger that that of the UK. The viewing figures are still very low.

  4. I didn’t watch the game because of time conflicts. However I hear today’s 2:30 showing of Real Madrid v Bayern Munich on FX HD will bring in a nice audience. Now do us a favor & watch the NFL this fall.

      1. I really wish Fox picked the Bundesliga back up. German football is a very entertaining and competative league with great fans creating some unbelievable atmospheres. Not to mention that German heritage is the most common European heritage in the U.S.

        1. I agree. I had a conversation with a senior executive at FOX Soccer over a year ago, and he asked me which leagues the network should carry (other than what they have now). I said Bundesliga would be number one.

          The Gaffer

  5. Guys, will there be coverage of the finals (bayern vs. chelsea) on the usual fox channel? or will i need to check for fox soccer or sth.?

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