Where the 2016 MLS Cup ranks in TV ratings against previous finals

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The numbers are in for the 2016 MLS Cup final, but how do they compare with the viewing numbers for previous MLS Cup finals played on English-language US television?

With the game being featured in primetime on a Saturday night on a network television station that’s in 116 million homes, it’s no wonder that the Toronto-Seattle final on FOX generated the highest viewing audience for a MLS Cup final since 1997. However, the Household Rating of 0.79 illustrates the lagging numbers that MLS faces when it comes to MLS Cup finals on English-language US TV. FOX and MLS’ numbers should have been far, far greater.

The fact that the 2016 MLS Cup final was aired live in primetime on a Saturday night should have generated far more viewers too considering that previous MLS Cup finals on ABC were televised during the daytime when viewing numbers are fewer.

SEE MORE: 2016 MLS Cup final TV rating glosses over unbearable game that won’t attract new fans

Here’s how it measures up with previous finals:

MLS Cup final English-language viewing numbers (household rating in parenthesis):

2016: 1,411,000; FOX network (0.79)
2015: 668,000; ESPN (0.5)
2014: 964,000; ESPN (0.7)
2013: 505,000; ESPN (0.6)
2012: 797,000; ESPN (0.7)
2010: 748,000; ESPN (0.8)
2009: 1,141,000; ESPN (0.75)
2008: 907,000; ABC (0.65)
2007: 1,097,000; ABC (0.8)
2006: 1,245,000; ABC (0.8)
2005: 1,137,000; ABC (0.8)
2004: 840,000; ABC (0.8)
2003: 876,000; ABC (0.6)
2002: 1,169,000; ABC (0.8)
2001: 1,031,000; ABC (1.0)
2000: # not available; ABC (0.7)
1999: # not available; ABC (0.7)
1998: # not available; ABC (1.0)
1997: 2,200,000; ABC (1.4)
1996: 1,330,000; ABC (1.4)

The 2017 MLS Cup final will be on ESPN.

SEE MORE: Read our comprehensive archive of articles on soccer TV ratings in the United States

6 Comments

  1. John Peros December 13, 2016
    • Christopher Harris December 13, 2016
      • Don't worry December 13, 2016
        • Christopher Harris December 13, 2016
  2. Patrick December 13, 2016
  3. Christopher Sanchez December 20, 2016

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