The viewing numbers are in for the broadcasts by NBC and FOX over-the-air networks for last Saturday’s simultaneous live coverage of Chelsea’s Premier League game against Manchester United and Arsenal versus Reading in the FA Cup semi-final.
NBC’s live broadcast of Chelsea against Manchester United netted 1.011 million average viewers. The game posted a 0.66 US HH rating.
Meanwhile, over on FOX, the Arsenal-Reading game on the over-the-air network drew a 0.32 US HH rating with an average of 456,000 viewers tuning in.
For FOX, its ratings number was 41% lower than FOX’s 2014 FA Cup average, while NBC’s number was 27% greater than its Premier League average compared to the second quarter of 2014.
Collectively, on both networks, over 1.4 million people watched the English soccer games on Saturday.
By virtue of both matches playing at practically the same time (Arsenal-Reading kicked off 10 minutes earlier), the broadcasts cannibalized what could have been a greater audience if there was only one game on national television during that timeslot.
Speaking of the two games being shown on national TV in the United States, CBS Los Angeles caught a lot of flack and negative PR by tweeting “what the hell happened to this country?” after realizing there were 2 soccer games being shown live on 2 of the 5 over-the-air networks. Hopefully they learned their lesson that the sport is growing by leaps and bounds in this country.
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