World Soccer Talk

Manchester derby ranks as most-watched Premier League game in US cable TV history


Sunday’s Manchester United against Manchester City derby televised on NBCSN averaged 1.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched Premier League match in US cable TV history.

The broadcast, which peaked at 1.3 million viewers, was aired from 11am-1pm ET live from Old Trafford in England. The game was also the third-most streamed Premier League match on NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC’s streaming app service.

NBCSN featured live on-site coverage from Old Trafford on Sunday, including in-stadium and pitch-side studios, with the entire Premier League announce team working together on-location in the United Kingdom for the first time since NBC Sports Group kicked off its Premier League coverage in August 2013. With their first Manchester Derby win in five attempts, the Red Devils extended their Premier League winning streak to six matches.

NBCSN was the most-watched network on cable among Adults 18-49 during the game’s 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET window. NBCSN’s Premier League Live pre-match coverage from Old Trafford was the network’s most-watched Premier League studio show of extended length (more than 20 minutes), and second-most watched Premier League studio show overall.

To date, NBC Sports Group’s Premier League viewership (average of 486,000 viewers) is up 10% compared to this point last season, and up 19% among Adults 18-49. NBCSN has televised four of the five most-watched Premier League matches in U.S. cable history (see chart below).

Most-Viewed Premier League Matches on Cable (on record):

Date, Home v. Away, Network Viewers
Sun., April 12, 2015 Manchester United v. Manchester City NBCSN 1.1 million
Mon., April 30, 2012 Manchester City v. Manchester United ESPN 1.0 million
Sun., Jan. 19, 2014 Chelsea v. Manchester United NBCSN 1.0 million
Sun., Mar. 22, 2015 Liverpool v. Manchester United NBCSN 950,000
Sun., Oct. 5, 2014 Chelsea v. Arsenal NBCSN 874,000

Highest-rated U.S. markets for Sunday’s Manchester Derby:

1. Washington, DC
2. Sacramento
3. Columbus
4. Denver
5. Indianapolis
6. West Palm Beach
7. New York
8. Tulsa
9. Boston
10. Orlando

This Saturday, NBC has a golden opportunity to beat its record of 1.4 million people who watched the Arsenal-Manchester United game in November, 2014 when it broadcasts the Chelsea against Manchester United match at 12:30pm ET live on NBC. The network also has the opportunity to beat the all-time viewing record for a Premier League game on US TV when 1.67 million watched Chelsea-Liverpool on tape delay in 2011.


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