Bayern Munich’s game last Friday against Freiburg was the least-viewed Friday afternoon Bundesliga game on FOX Sports since September, 2016.
The opening game of the second half of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season after the winter break was watched by an audience of just 54,000 people.
The last time a Friday afternoon Bundesliga game got a worse viewing number was the September 16, 2016 game between Koln and Freiburg.
With the Freiburg-Bayern Munich game televised live on FS1 as well as it featuring the most popular Bundesliga team in the United States, the viewing number should have been much larger. On top of that, the game featured the debut of host Kate Abdo as the new face of FOX’s Bundesliga coverage. And last but not least, the Friday 2:30-4:30pm ET broadcast was up against very little competition.
So far this season, the Bundesliga is averaging 78,182 viewers per game on FOX Sports.
While FOX Sports’ coverage of the Bundesliga has improved, the viewing number for the Freiburg-Bayern Munich game is testament to the lack of promotion the network is giving the league. Other than house ads that are played on FOX Sports and messages on social media, FOX Sports is not investing its time or money in promoting the popular German league. The only time it seems that FOX Sports makes an effort is when a game is on the over-the-air FOX network, and even then the amount of promotion that FOX Sports does is nothing compared to ESPN, NBC Sports or even beIN SPORTS.
Sadly, the Bundesliga is stuck in its contract with FOX Sports until 2020.
In better news, the Bundesliga viewing audience on FOX Sports peaked on Sunday when 103,000 viewers tuned in on FS1 and FOX Deportes to watch Bayer Leverkusen against Hertha Berlin.