FOX Soccer’s telecast of Manchester United against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League was viewed by 520,000 people in the United States on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The broadcast was the third most-watched game in FOX Soccer’s history behind the 2011 Gold Cup Final (1.1 million) and Chelsea-Liverpool from 2011 (579,000).
On FOX Deportes, Real Madrid’s 2-1 victory was viewed by 582,000 viewers, its second highest Round of 16 match since the network began showing the UEFA Champions League in 2009.
Given the importance of the game and the high profile teams that were playing in this match, the TV viewing numbers on FOX Soccer are disappointing. While the FOX Deportes number is impressive, the 520,000 looks less impressive when compared to selective Premier League games shown on ESPN2 in previous years. For example, on December 13, 2010, 570,000 people tuned in to ESPN2 to watch Manchester United against Arsenal. Plus, 610,000 viewers watched Arsenal-Chelsea on ESPN2 in December, 2010.
To be fair, ESPN2 has a subscriber base of over 100 million, while FOX Soccer has approximately 40-45 million subscribers.
When you take the viewing audience for FOX Deportes and FOX Soccer and combine them together, the million plus viewing audience is more impressive.