US Record 3.4 Million Tune In to NBC’s Opening Weekend of Premier League Coverage

NBC Sports Group has announced that a U.S. record 3.4 million people tuned in to watch the opening weekend of Premier League coverage. The average viewership for NBCSN matches topped last year’s opening weekend cable matches by 43%.

The Premier League coverage by NBC spanned NBC, NBCSN, mun2, Premier League Extra Time channels and NBC Sports Live Extra.

According to Nielsen, the five English-language games on NBC and NBCSN drew a total of 3.2 million viewers – up 52% from the 2.1 million total for the five games on ESPN and FOX Soccer last year.

Other milestones from the opening weekend include:

Most-Watched Opening Weekend Match: Saturday’s NBC telecast of Swansea City-Manchester United drew 792,000 average viewers – marking the most-watched Premier League opening weekend match in U.S. history.

Highest Opening Weekend Average Viewership: The five games on NBC and NBCSN averaged 443,000 viewers — +78% above the ESPN/FOX Soccer average for five games on Opening Weekend last year (249,000 average viewers).

Best Opening Weekend on Cable in U.S. History: For games on cable, the four weekend matches on NBCSN averaged 356,000 viewers – ranking as the most-watched Premier League opening weekend on cable in the U.S., and a +43% increase from last year’s 249,000 average viewership for the five games on ESPN and FOX Soccer.

More than 5.7 Million Minutes Streamed: Fans streamed more than 5.7 million minutes of Premier League action via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets. This is the first time ever that all Premier League games are available at no extra cost (to fans with NBC Sports Network) via live stream.

Debut of Bonus TV Package: This the first time that all Premier League games are available on television on the networks of NBCUniversal and the Premier League Extra Time bonus television package. Extra Time is available at no extra cost to fans who receive NBC Sports Network through their cable/satellite/telco providers.

In regards to the above numbers, what I’m most impressed with is the average viewing audience figure for the games shown on NBC Sports Network. It’s impressive to see that an average of 356,000 watched Liverpool-Stoke (7:45am ET on a Saturday), Arsenal-Aston Villa (10am ET, Saturday), Crystal Palace vs Tottenham (8:30am ET, Sunday) and Chelsea vs Hull City (11am ET, Sunday).

Arsenal-Aston Villa had 450,000 viewers, while Liverpool-Stoke had 287,000.

While it’s not a direct comparison, Fox Sports Live on Saturday (10:43p-midnight) averaged 476K viewers while Fox Sports Live on Sunday (11p-midnight) averaged 120K viewers. Both were shown on FOX Sports 1.

For the complete schedule of Premier League games on US television and Internet, visit our Premier League TV schedule page.

28 thoughts on “US Record 3.4 Million Tune In to NBC’s Opening Weekend of Premier League Coverage”

  1. I just got done “chatting” with TWC as to why I only had 3 of the 4 Extra Time channels last week. The response is hilarious, after a fashion. He obviously had no idea what I was talking about, so I just ended it.

    Joel>Good Afternoon.
    GUY>Why am I only getting 3 of the 4 NBC Sports Extra Time channels?
    Joel>How can I assist you today?
    Joel>I appologize for the inncovenience caused to you.
    Joel>Since when are you experiencing this problem?
    GUY>Extra Time began last Saturday. There are supposed to be 4 channels, but I only had 3.
    Joel>I am sorry to tell you that we do not provide 4 NBC Sports Extra Time channels.
    Joel>But I will however forward your concerned to our management.
    GUY>Are you aware of what Extra Time is?
    Joel>Yes but we do not provide 4 NBC Sports Extra Time channels.
    GUY>And you don’t know why, is that correct?
    Joel>As per the updates we do not provide 4 NBC Sports Extra Time channels as it has been discontinued from the Broadcasters.
    GUY>What has been discontinued?
    Joel>I am sorry the 4 NBC Sports Extra Time channels is not provided to us .
    Joel>We do not have access to 4 NBC Sports Extra Time channels .
    Joel>That is the reason we are not able to provide you the channels.
    GUY>But you DID provide 3 of the channels.
    Joel>But however we do not have that channels right now .
    GUY>That doesn’t make any sense, but thank you for your time. Bye

    1. Ironically on DirecTV im getting 5 Extra Time channels and all of them have upcoming games scheduled for this weekend. So glad i got rid of TWC.

  2. Headline is impressive but how many unique viewers?

    Also curious to know how many people tuned into Match of the Day or the pre-game / post-game shows. Guessing that is where the much of the advertising revenue comes from?

    Really loving the NBC coverage so far – has exceeded my expectations. Also – not sure if it’s on youtube – but the short opening lead-in segment (when the saints….)they ran both Saturday and Sunday was very well done (was hoping it would have been longer).

    Classic NBC – their intros for Olympic programming are second to none.

    Feeling spoiled with the coverage so far…

    1. I watched pre-game and post-game shows and found them so much better than what we were getting on Fox Soccer. The personalities really clicked, especially on the Saturday shows.

      For me they are now ‘don’t miss’ tv. Well done NBC!

  3. Re Fox Sports 1

    I just turned it on for the first time. The odd thing is Fox Soccer Channel is still there on its old channel and Fox Sports 1 has been placed on the next channel up. So, I now have Fox Sportsnet, FSC and FS1 adjacent to each other all showing CL matches.

  4. Is there any news on replays of games in the Sports Extra app? I thought they were going to show at least a couple of these.

    1. On the cable “on Demand” everything was there. All the weekend matches plus the MOTD. Really great tool.

      I think despite a few growing pains lets all say NBC/Comcast have this right.

  5. Gaffer, has NBC addressed the 1230pm Saturday slot? That transition last week from the post-match on NBC Sports Network’s 10am game (Premier League Live) to a direct kickoff at 1230pm on NBC was a little awkward.

    Has NBC given any thought to starting their coverage for the 1230pm match a little earlier? Why not just join Premier League Live at 12pm on NBC instead of NBC Sports Network?

  6. Any word on TWC getting NBC Extra Time? I can’t watch the games on desktop or ipad. Basically I feel like I’m paying for a service they can’t be bothered to provide.

      1. In either case, you’re not paying for it one way or another. NBC is providing both to carriers, for free. Whether the carriers want to put it up or not is another question. For TWC that decision seems to be being made at the regional level, not national. So, some of us have Extra Time and some don’t.

        1. I don’t buy this “provided for free” business. Especially for the Live Extra. There has to be some sort of concession or expectation. Otherwise why wouldn’t everyone offer it?

          1. I’m in New York so I guess they haven’t got to my area yet. By the way I can’t even find the app on the app store, maybe that’s just me…

  7. Premier league extra time channels are not available on cox cable. Cox is advertising the channels, but they are not available in Orange County CA.
    Cox support told me there is no date set for turning on the channels.

  8. I wonder how much higher the numbers could have been if you could count the numbers of people in bars and pubs who watched the games? My spot was pretty full with maybe two to three hundred people.

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