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.

11 thoughts on “NBC Scores Highest Overnight Rating in U.S. History for Premier League Opener”

  1. No problem with the number. It’s all true. Less impressive then it sounds because its a opener on nation tv versus cable systems. A closer comparison would be free air broadcasts Fox did the last two years.

    Nothing bad here. I am not trying to downgrade NBC which I think did a fine job but just not the story it may seem.

    1. The Gaffer did compare the 0.8 NBC got to some of the FOX broadcasts above. Although it’s a good number for NBC because since there will be regular games in the same time-slot, it will give the opportunities to see the numbers increase overtime.

  2. I am curious to know what the share for NBC is in the ratings. A rating number represents the amount of households watching the program whereas the share is the percentage of all TV’s on during that time.
    I thought Arlo White did a better job with the Chelsea match today than he did in Swansea yesterday.

    1. Agreed regarding Arlo White. I also thought Graeme Le Saux was exceptional.

      As soon as I get more information regarding the share and viewing audience, I’ll post them on World Soccer Talk. Thanks John.

  3. Glad that the first week viewer numbers for the BPL for NBCsrts was positive. On another note, I’m disappointed that Comcast On-Demand only had BPL games for those with HD. Reply games for On-Demand not in SD (for us regular folks). Booo. Since NBC and Comcast are “one company” curious why On Demand games are only available for those that have HD? Too bad.

  4. I think NBC coverage was amazing over the weekend. From the pre match to the games and even the match of day reminded me of the BBC MOTD from my time living in England. Can’t say enough how happy I was and love the promotion they put into the EPL. Well done NBC!!!

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