Most-watched MLS Cup Finals of all-time on US TV

Photo credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Given the impressive viewing number for the 2018 MLS Cup Final, how does it compare to previous MLS Cup Finals that have aired in English-language on US television?

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:

NETWORK VIEWERSHIP YEAR
1 ABC 2,200,000 1997
2 FOX 1,563,000 2018
3 FOX 1,411,000 2016
4 ABC 1,330,000 1996
5 ABC 1,245,000 2006
6 ABC 1,169,000 2002
7 ESPN 1,141,000 2009
8 ABC 1,137,000 2005
9 ABC 1,097,000 2007
10 ABC 1,031,000 2001
11 ESPN 964,000 2014
12 ABC 907,000 2008
13 ABC 876,000 2003
14 ABC 840,000 2004
15 ESPN 803,000 2017
16 ESPN 797,000 2012
17 ESPN 748,000 2010
18 ESPN 668,000 2015
19 ESPN 505,000 2013
20 ABC N/A 2000
21 ABC N/A 1999
22 ABC N/A 1998

Leave a Reply