MLS games on ESPN see 25% increase in viewers compared to 2015

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Viewership of MLS games on ESPN during the 2016 regular season increased by 25% compared to 2015, according to research conducted by Sports TV Ratings and World Soccer Talk.

ESPN averaged 307,845 viewers per game (combining ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes) compared to 244,970 in 2015.

MLS definitely benefitted from ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision making a conscious effort to feature MLS games more prominently. ESPN featured almost every single MLS game on its flagship network instead of ESPN2 where MLS games were prominently featured in previous years.

On top of that, ESPN scheduled five games for time slots adjacent to its mid-summer coverage of Euro 2016, which helped give MLS games a slight bump in viewing figures during June and early July.

Here are the TV viewing numbers for 2016 MLS regular season games featured on ESPN:

Date Home Away TV1 TV2 TV1 Viewing # TV2 Viewing # Total
03/06/16 Portland Timbers Columbus Crew ESPN ESPN Deportes 362,000 72,000 434,000
03/13/16 New York City FC Toronto FC ESPN2 ESPN Deportes 197,000 44,633 241,633
03/20/16 DC United Colorado Rapids ESPN2 ESPN Deportes 179,000 44,633 223,633
04/10/16 Houston Dynamo Seattle Sounders ESPN ESPN Deportes 386,000 44,633 430,633
04/17/16 Orlando City SC New England Revolution ESPN ESPN Deportes 229,000 44,633 273,633
04/24/16 San Jose Earthquakes Sporting Kansas City ESPN ESPN Deportes 180,000 44,633 224,633
05/01/16 Portland Timbers Toronto FC ESPN ESPN Deportes 302,000 44,633 346,633
05/08/16 Los Angeles Galaxy New England Revolution ESPN ESPN Deportes 225,000 44,633 269,633
05/15/16 Sporting Kansas City Orlando City SC ESPN ESPN Deportes 224,000 44,633 268,633
05/22/16 Portland Timbers Vancouver Whitecaps ESPN ESPN Deportes 463,000 44,633 507,633
05/29/16 New York City FC Orlando City SC ESPN ESPN Deportes 316,000 44,633 360,633
06/19/16 Sporting Kansas City FC Dallas ESPN ESPN Deportes 363,000 44,633 407,633
06/25/16 Seattle Sounders New York City FC ESPN ESPN Deportes 616,000 44,633 660,633
06/26/16 Portland Timbers Houston Dynamo ESPN2 ESPN Deportes 207,000 44,633 251,633
07/03/16 New York City FC New York Red Bulls ESPN ESPN Deportes 439,000 44,633 483,633
07/09/16 Seattle Sounders Los Angeles Galaxy ESPN ESPN Deportes 536,000 44,633 580,633
07/10/16 New York Red Bulls Portland Timers ESPN2 ESPN Deportes 223,000 44,633 267,633
07/17/16 Montreal Impact New York City FC ESPN ESPN Deportes 322,000 44,633 366,633
07/23/16 Portland Timbers Los Angeles Galaxy ESPN ESPN Deportes 329,000 44,633 373,633
07/24/16 Sporting Kansas City Seattle Sounders ESPN ESPN Deportes 265,000 44,633 309,633
07/31/16 Seattle Sounders Los Angeles Galaxy ESPN ESPN Deportes 328,000 328,000
08/07/16 Seattle Sounders Los Angeles Galaxy ESPN ESPN Deportes 184,000 184,000
08/20/16 New York City FC Los Angeles Galaxy ESPN ESPN Deportes 219,000 219,000
08/21/16 DC United New York Red Bulls ESPN ESPN Deportes 220,000 220,000
08/28/16 New York Red Bulls New England Revolution ESPN ESPN Deportes 186,000 186,000
08/28/16 Portland Timbers Seattle Sounders ESPN ESPN Deportes 253,000 253,000
09/11/16 New York Red Bulls DC United ESPN ESPN Deportes 238,000 238,000
09/25/16 Los Angeles Galaxy Seattle Sounders ESPN ESPN Deportes 240,000 240,000
10/02/16 Orlando City SC Montreal Impact ESPN ESPN Deportes 220,000 220,000
10/16/16 Montreal Impact Toronto FC ESPN ESPN Deportes 161,000 161,000
10/16/16 Portland Timbers Colorado Rapids ESPN ESPN Deportes 178,000 178,000
10/23/16 Seattle Sounders Real Salt Lake ESPN ESPN Deportes 141,000 141,000

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