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

nbc epl1 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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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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