With the over-the-air FOX network being available in approximately 115 million homes in the United States, Major League Soccer’s decision to televise games on that channel in 2016 and 2018 is paying dividends as can be evidenced below. The network is in far more homes than ESPN (87 million homes).
The viewing number for the 2018 MLS Cup Final does mask what has been largely been a disappointing year for the league’s TV ratings. For the 2018 regular season, viewing numbers were down on both ESPN and FS1. While the viewing numbers were up for the over-the-air FOX network, it was only because they aired the games immediately after World Cup matches when TV sets were left on. On the Spanish-language side, ratings were way up on Univision Deportes, which helped boost the overall numbers.
Here are the most-watched MLS Cup Finals of all-time on US TV: