NBC Scores Highest Overnight Rating in U.S. History for Premier League Opener

NBC Sports has announced that its telecast of the match between Swansea City and Manchester United on Saturday August 17 has posted the highest overnight rating in the United States history for a Premier League opener.

Saturday’s coverage of Swansea-Manchester United drew an overnight rating of 0.8. Meanwhile, NBC Sports Group’s three live opening day Premier League telecasts averaged an 0.5 overnight rating — up 67% from last season’s opening Saturday three-game average (0.3 average for one match on ESPN and two on FOX Soccer).

While the overnight ratings are for most of the major regions of the United States, the national ratings will be available later this week.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned to a broadcast.

In context, as one example, the broadcast of the Chelsea versus Manchester United game from February 5, 2012 generated an overnight rating of 1.0. The highest TV rating for a Premier League match on US television was a 1.3 rating for the November 20, 2011 match between Chelsea and Liverpool, which was shown on tape delay on the over-the-air FOX network on a Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday’s NBC rating is impressive given that it’s the first Premier League broadcast on their over-the-air network. Plus, Swansea City doesn’t have a considerable following in the United States compared to other opponents such as Chelsea or Liverpool.

Out of the local ratings for NBC’s Swansea-Man United match (which was shown live on free-to-air television from 12:20pm-2:30pm ET), the top five ratings were:

Washington, D.C. (2.2)
Tulsa (1.9)
Austin (1.8)
Seattle (1.4)
Buffalo (1.4)

Via NBC Sports Live Extra, soccer fans in the United States streamed more than four million minutes of Premier League action.

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