Two matches from this past weekend broke the million viewers barrier on US television. Those games were Manchester United versus Leicester and Liverpool against Arsenal.
Man United’s game against Leicester was the most-watched soccer game anywhere on US television last weekend with an average of 1.083 million viewers across over-the-air NBC and Universo combined. The Spanish-language broadcast netted 66,000 viewers, while the game on NBC averaged a whopping 1,017,000 viewers.
Elsewhere, the Telemundo viewing number for Liverpool-Arsenal was 379,000. Combined with the 697,000 who watched the game on NBCSN, that match averaged 1,073,000 viewers.
To put the numbers into context, all four nationally-televised MLS games combined failed to generate more viewers than any one of the Liverpool-Arsenal or Manchester United-Leicester games. This was despite all of the MLS games being part of the much-hyped Rivalry Week. And despite the fact that all of the games were shown in the highly coveted TV windows such as primetime on ESPN on a weekend, a mid-afternoon ESPN timeslot on Sunday as well as primetime Sunday broadcasts on FS1.
The most-watched MLS game last weekend (Seattle-Portland with 342,000 viewers on FS1 and FOX Deportes combined) had fewer viewers than the Premier League highlights show Goal Zone on NBCSN that aired on Sunday (345,000 viewers).