The TV ratings are in for the 2010 MLS Cup. And according to Sports Media Watch, the overnight TV rating was 0.5, the lowest overnight rating since at least the late 1990’s.

The 0.5 TV rating was down 44% from last year’s MLS Cup between Real Salt Lake and L.A. Galaxy. In the 2010 MLS Cup, Colorado Rapids defeated FC Dallas 2-1 in extra time in front of a not even sold-out crowd at Toronto’s BMO Field. The 0.5 TV rating was down 28% from the 2008 MLS Cup between Columbus and New York.

According to Sports Media Watch, this is the fifth straight year, and the seventh time in eight years, that the MLS Cup has failed to draw at least a 1.0 overnight rating.

While it’s not surprising that this year’s MLS Cup didn’t garner as high a TV viewing audience as last year, what is surprising is the degree in which it dropped. This is in the same year that ESPN suffered a 12% decrease in TV ratings for Major League Soccer compared with last season’s viewing numbers.