World Soccer Talk

Viewing audience for MLS All-Star Game declines for 3rd year in a row

For the third consecutive year in a row, TV ratings for the MLS All-Star Game have declined. This year’s game between the MLS All-Star team and Arsenal generated only 513,000 viewers on ESPN during a primetime broadcast that was televised live on Thursday, July 28.

Compared to three years ago, the viewing figure for the MLS All-Star vs. Arsenal game dropped 40% from the 2013 game against Bayern Munich.

It’s hard for soccer fans to get excited about the MLS All-Star Game when most MLS fans themselves are apathetic about the annual game. Part infomercial, part friendly, the mere idea of a All-Star Game doesn’t appear to work in soccer. When Arsenal, the second most popular Premier League in the United States, can’t move the TV ratings needle, you know that something must be wrong.

Here are the TV viewing figures from the past several years:

MLS All-Star Opponent Broadcaster Viewers
2016 Arsenal ESPN 513,000
2015 Tottenham FOX Sports 1 548,000
2014 Bayern Munich ESPN2 862,000
2013 AS Roma ESPN2 319,000
2012 Chelsea ESPN2 530,000
2011 Manchester United ESPN Unavailable