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NBC Breaks Its Record After 1.2 Million Watch Swansea vs Cardiff On US TV

nbc epl1 NBC Breaks Its Record After 1.2 Million Watch Swansea vs Cardiff On US TV

NBC Sports delivered its most watched Premier League broadcast to date when 1.2 million average viewers watched the South Wales derby between Swansea City and Cardiff live on the over-the-air NBC network.

The 12:30-2:30pm ET broadcast on NBC edges closer to the all-time Premier League record viewing audience in the United States, which was 1.67 million who watched Chelsea against Liverpool, which was shown on tape delay on FOX Network on a Sunday afternoon in November, 2011.

NBC’s previous record was the 1.019 million who watched Chelsea versus Manchester United on NBCSN.

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.

This entry was posted in Cardiff City, Leagues: EPL, NBC, Swansea City. Bookmark the permalink.

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.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

21 Responses to NBC Breaks Its Record After 1.2 Million Watch Swansea vs Cardiff On US TV

  1. Blatt Sepper says:

    It’s to see that the American people are at last starting to appreciate “proper” football.

  2. Matt says:

    Pretty much the Olympics bumped up the number more than usual, don’t think the other two reasons added any large number of viewers in all honesty. You could put MLS match on before/after Olympic coverage and it would get record ratings

    • Christopher Harris says:

      I disagree. Obviously I’m biased as a Swansea fan, but there was a lot of interest among soccer fans that I spoke to regarding this match.

      • eplnfl says:

        No doubt WST fans love a chance to see a local derby. Even some casual fans of the league would have their interest peaked by these two teams meeting in PL play.

        I have to come down on the side of the game being in the right time and right network for that big of an audience but hey that’s what its all about. NBC was smart in their programming knowing they had a large crowd already tuning in to live sports and trying to keep them hooked to network.

        Ultimately it’s good for the game, good for NBC, and increases soccer popularity here.

  3. John Jubal says:

    I would expect those who in the US opted to watch the Swansea vs Cardiff game became fans of the game of soccer overnight. Soccer is one of those sports that has everything, from the passion that gets the blood flowing through the vain’s and the adrenalin at your team mounts an attack or even in defence who a hopeful out of success on what is being done. Even the banter before and after the game and when your team wins there a high that can’t be matched, especially in the big games and derby’s! The anticipation is almost electrifying as is the dread if things go wrong. It’s either yes, yes yes with with a successful outcome or, maybe we’ll do better next time. That latter start the whole process all over again as you begin to build up to the next game. It’s love and hate, dread and hope etc. all rolled into one for the sake of 90 minutes playing time. The compliments along with the criticism and the difference of opinion which makes soccer so exciting!

    A Swansea Jack!

  4. Dave says:

    The South Wales derby between Swansea and Cardiff benefited from one factor: The Olympics. Let’s not over-analyze it. Casual American viewers have no idea who Michael Laudrup is or what a derby is. Heck, they can’t even find Wales on a map!

  5. Twm Owen says:

    “those viewers who watched the second half will have enjoyed seeing Swansea’s three goals against the Bluebirds.”

    What? I watched it in Cardiff and I didn’t enjoy seeing any of the goals going in. I was unaware there are 1.2 million Swansea fans (Jack B***ards – as we call them) in America. What evidence is there the American audience would have been supporting Swansea, I’d like to think they were commiserating with Cardiff fans.

    • Christopher Harris says:

      In a few months from now, Cardiff will be relegated and Swansea will be preparing for its fourth season in a row as the first Premier League team in Wales. Swansea have had plenty of time to grow an audience in the United States, and were here on a tour across the USA last summer. Cardiff will be remembered for Vincent Tan and being a laughing stock.

  6. Frill Artist says:

    The Winter Olympics bumped up the ratings…

  7. Dave says:

    The first meeting of the season between Swansea and Cardiff was watched by less than 300K viewers. Granted, it was shown on NBCSN not NBC but that hardly makes any difference. The record viewership for a BPL match on over-the-air NBC this season was 991K viewers when Arsenal beat Liverpool, two of the most popular clubs in this country. Are you telling me that the sacking of Laudrup and the fact that it’s a derby made it more compelling than a match-up between two title contenders and helped attract one million additional viewers this time around? No, it was merely an aberration caused by the Olympics coverage on NBC. A similar example: the MLS game which immediately followed the Euro 2012 quarterfinal between England and Italy was watched by 888K viewers on ESPN. I rest my case.

  8. Re says:

    Nice! I was worried that since it was a game between lesser known teams, the viewership would be a lot less. Granted, there was the Olympic games before and after. But that speaks of how smart NBC has managed its coverage of the BPL. It uses its own sporting events coverage to advertise other sporting events or to jam them together. Right now my favorite Soccer channels are BeIn Sports, NBC, Fox, ESPN and Goal TV. Does anyone know why CBS does not broadcast or attempt to broadcast any Soccer ever?

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