Most-watched live soccer games on US TV for weekend of April 1-3, 2016

soccer leagues

Not surprisingly, last weekend’s el Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid ruled the roost in terms of the most number of viewers tuning in to watch a soccer match on US television. The impressive number was fewer than last spring’s el Clasico, but that may possibly have something to do with the decision by the executives in Spain to schedule the game immediately after the international break, which is poor timing because it’s harder to build up momentum for club soccer when the previous week is filled with international stories. Plus, more importantly, players often return from international duty looking very tired and jet lagged as Barcelona footballers showed in the second half.

In the Premier League, the matches beamed across the United States this past weekend conjured up some interesting numbers. First, the broadcast of Liverpool against Spurs across NBC and NBC Universo broke the 1 million barrier. But the number of viewers for Leicester-Southampton (454,000) was also impressive for an early-morning Sunday kickoff. Yes, Leicester is running away with the league, but it’s good to see that Leicester and Southampton together are generating solid viewing numbers on their own accord without the games being against teams that draw big TV numbers.

For Major League Soccer, the excellent news was that the number of viewers for FOX Sports 1’s coverage of Orlando against Portland Timbers was 51% greater than FOX’s average for the 2015 regular season. Plus, fans were treated to an exciting match, which could help boost FOX’s future numbers.

Meanwhile, ESPN didn’t televise a MLS game last weekend, while Univision Deportes/UniMas’s viewing number of 185,000 for Friday’s New England against New York City FC game was 24% below Univision’s average for the 2015 regular season. For whatever reason, it seems that there’s less of an interest in New York City FC so far this season so far.

One important change that I’ve made in this week’s report (and moving forward) is that I’ve combined the English-language and Spanish-language numbers into one number. It’ll help make the table cleaner, but also gives a more accurate determination of the total number of TV viewers for a game even if it was simulcast on another network at the same time.

See any interesting observations in the list below? Share them with us in the comments section below or our social media accounts.

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV from last weekend:

Pos.TeamsNo. of viewersTV NetworkGame time (ET)Date
1Barcelona vs. Real Madrid1,915,487beIN SPORTS & beIN SPORTS en Español2:30-4:30pmSat., April 2
2Liverpool vs. Spurs1,032,000NBC and NBC Universo12:30-2:30pmSat., April 2
3Chivas vs. UNAM580,000Univision Deportes9:30-11:30pmSun., April 3
4Chiapas vs. Club America573,000Univision Deportes11pm-1amSat., April 2
5Man United vs. Everton537,000USA11am-1pmSun., April 3
6Tigres vs. Atlas471,000Univision Deportes9-11pmSat., April 2
7Arsenal vs. Watford463,000NBCSN & NBC Universo10am-NoonSat., April 2
8Leicester vs. Southampton454,000NBCSN & NBC Universo8:30-10:30amSun., April 3
9Aston Villa vs. Chelsea328,000NBCSN & NBC Universo7:45-9:45amSat., April 2
10Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen312,000FOX12:30-2:30pmSat., April 2
11Orlando vs. Portland297,000FOX Sports 1 & FOX Deportes8-10pmSat., April 2
12Cruz Azul vs. Pachuca296,000Univision Deportes7-9pmSat., April 2
13Toluca vs. Santos Laguna235,000Univision Deportes10pm-MidnightFri., April 1
14Norwich vs. Newcastle217,000USA10am-NoonSat., April 2
15NE Revolution vs. NYCFC185,000UniMas & Univision Deportes7-9pmFri., April 1
16Atletico Madrid vs. Real Betis169,000beIN SPORTS & beIN SPORTS en Español10am-NoonSat., April 2
17Mexico legends vs. Barca legends152,000beIN SPORTS & beIN SPORTS en Español9:30-11:30pmFri., April 1
18Sevilla vs. Real Sociedad120,000beIN SPORTS en Español2:30-4:30pmSun., April 3
19Leon vs. Monterrey107,000NBC Universo10pm-MidnightSat., April 2
20Veracruz vs. Dorados97,000Univision Deportes12:30-2:30amSat., April 2
21Monchengladbach vs. Hertha Berlin95,000FOX Sports 1 & FOX Deportes9:30-11:30amSun., April 3
22Leverkusen vs. Wolfsburg67,000FOX Sports 2 & FOX Deportes2:30-4:30pmFri., April 1
23Eibar vs. Villarreal46,000beIN SPORTS en Español12:15-2:15pmSun., April 3
24Malaga vs. Espanyol42,000beIN SPORTS en Español10am-NoonSun., April 3
25Bayern Munich vs. Frankfurt35,000FOX Sports 29:30-11:30amSat., April 2
26Alkmaar vs. PSV31,000Univision Deportes2-4pmSat., April 2
27QPR vs. Middlesbrough29,000beIN SPORTS2:45-4:45rpmFri., April 1
28Ingolstadt vs. Schalke29,000FOX Deportes9:30-11:30amSat., April 2
29Lazio vs. Roma22,000beIN SPORTS9-11amSun., April 3
30Fort Lauderdale vs. Miami FC21,000beIN SPORTS8-10pmSat., April 2
31Hoffenheim vs. Cologne18,000FOX Sports 211:30am-1:30pmSun., April 3

Note that viewing figures for soccer games shown on the over-the-air Univision network have not been made available.

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