NBC’s live coverage of the South Wales derby between Swansea City and Cardiff City posted the network’s best overnight rating of the 2013/14 Premier League season thus far, with a 1.0 overnight rating.
The 1.0 metered rating beat the previous record overnight rating, which was 0.79 for Arsenal against Liverpool that was played on November 2, 2013. For that match, an average of 991,000 viewers watched the game, so the number for the Swansea-Cardiff game is expected to surpass one million viewers. But the national rating and viewership numbers won’t be known until later this week.
The South Wales derby between Swansea and Cardiff benefited from a few factors: (1) Most importantly, the game was anchored by NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics, so viewers who were watching the coverage from Sochi earlier in the day may have stay tuned to the Premier League game, which was then followed by more coverage from Sochi. (2) The sacking of Michael Laudrup earlier in the week made this a more fascinating than usual match to watch. And (3), many soccer fans — even if their clubs are not involved — love watching derbies, particularly a heated one between Swansea and Cardiff, which is fueled by so much passion, hatred and tension. The first half match may have been nervy, but those viewers who watched the second half will have enjoyed seeing Swansea’s three goals against the Bluebirds.