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%.
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.