EPL Is The Big Man On Campus This Week, Not MLS

TV Sports Ratings shared some very eyeopening numbers yesterday regarding this past Monday’s derby between Manchester City and Manchester United, which was televised live on ESPN to a record-breaking audience of more than 1 million viewers.

The most breathtaking stat is the TV rating for the ESPN broadcast among male college students living away from home — a 10.15 rating. Shouldn’t these students be in class? But seriously, that number and others (see below) are impressive given this was the first Premier League match shown live on ESPN during a weekday. Yes, it was the biggest Premier League match in the history of the league, but let’s hope it makes ESPN consider adding more Premier League matches to its flagship station.

In comparison, TV Sports Ratings shared TV ratings numbers for the NBC Sports live broadcast of New York Red Bulls (starring Thierry Henry) against New England Revolution. The match was shown during a more preferable Saturday afternoon timeslot than a mid-afternoon Monday Premier League match, and while the Red Bulls against the Revs is hardly in the same class as a Manchester derby, the numbers are still some painful reading given the way MLS fans hyped the league’s decision to sign with NBC Sports instead of signing a new TV rights deal with FOX Soccer.

Match Man City v Man Utd NYRB v New England
Network ESPN NBC Sports
No. Subscribers 99,000,000 75,000,000
Date/Time Monday, 2:30pm ET Saturday, 3:30pm ET
Viewing Audience 1,033,000 70,000
TV Rating (Men 18-49) 1.21 0.04
TV Rating (Male College Students Living Away Fr. Home) 10.15 0.28
TV Rating (Male College Students Not Living Away Fr. Home) 1.61 0.06
Median Age 28 46

If I’m an advertising executive or a large brand with dollars to spend on advertising, there’s only one league I’m going to buy commercial time on based on the above research data, especially if I want to get my brand in front of the elusive male 18-35 demographic.

H/T @TVSportsRatings


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