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FOX posts worst-ever viewing number for Bundesliga

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. Unfortunately for FOX Sports and the Bundesliga, the German top flight continues to post disappointing numbers in the second season the TV network and league are working together.

Last weekend during the opening weekend of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season, FOX’s biggest game of the weekend was the match between Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, which was televised on the over-the-air FOX broadcast network. Sadly, the match was the least-watched Bundesliga game ever on over-the-air television in the USA. The English-language FOX broadcast had 248,000 viewers. The Spanish-language broadcast on FOX Deportes averaged 32,000 viewers, for a combined average of 280,000 viewers.

Compare that number to the previous LIVE Bundesliga games featured on over-the-air television:

1. Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich (February 6, 2016) — 810,000 (FOX and FOX Deportes combined)
2. Ingolstadt vs. Bayern Munich (May 7, 2016) — 500,000 (approximate)
3. Stuttgart vs. Hamburg (January 30, 2016) — 468,000 (FOX only)
4. Bayern Munich vs. Hannover (May 14, 2016) — 452,000 (FOX and FOX Deportes combined)
5. Wolfsburg vs. Leverkusen (April 9, 2016) — 391,000 (FOX and FOX Deportes combined)
6. Frankfurt vs. Hannover (March 19, 2016) — 378,000 (FOX and FOX Deportes combined)
7. Bayern Munich vs. Schalke (April 16, 2016) — 319,000 (FOX only)
8. Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen (April 2, 2016) — 312,000 (FOX only)
9. Monchengladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen (August 27, 2016) — 280,000 (FOX and FOX Deportes combined)

SEE MORE: Schedule of Bundesliga games on US TV and streaming

Meanwhile for the opening weekend of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season last August, the average English-language viewing audience on FOX Sports was 39,500 for four games that were spread across FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. One year later, after a little more work by FOX Sports to promote coverage of the league, viewing numbers declined 12% to an average of 34,500 across the four games shown between FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. The 12% decline could have been even worse considering that two of the four games were on FOX Sports 1 last weekend compared to only one on FS1 during last year’s opening weekend (FS1 is in 32 million more households than FS2).

SEE MORE: Find out the latest TV ratings data for soccer leagues on US TV and streaming

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. LIstead

    September 2, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    None of this is really surprising, besides Germany and surrounding countries it is not as popular as other leagues even if the quality is better, further more Fox main goal is to make money, they get far more ratings from NASCAR, CFB, UFC, anything NFL related and even the FA Cup, I know people on soccer twitter and other message boards think everyone loves this stuff as much as we do but it is simply not the case ratings wise, Wolfsburg Mainz will never be a big ratings grabber even if the quality is good, putting a commercial during BIG 10 football won’t change that.

  2. bob

    September 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I would have watched the game, but my Fox over-the-air station showed pre-season football instead. I couldn’t find any way of watching it. I’m not sure how much stock I’d put in the viewer numbers if the game is not even shown in one of the largest markets in the country.

  3. Tony

    September 2, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Bundesliga will have a tough time competing against Premier League, La Liga, MLS, NFl, College Football, etc. Its a one or two team league without a lot of familiar players. I’ll watch the occasional Bayern game if nothing else is on, but that’s about it.

    Ultimately, Fox needs to go after La Liga rights. That fits in well with their Champions League and World Cup coverage. Bein is nice, but not really widespread enough to give La Liga the full exposure it deserves.

  4. Zack

    September 1, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    When your advertising and selling out with Virtual Reality. You must be doing something wrong!

    Anyways, FOX needs to do something about this fast. Their treatment of it is simply disrespectful and careless from someone who are supposed to be the leaders in broadcasting footy. They should, at the very least, be committed to show 2 games on FS1 and FS2 with a full studio of Joy and co. But they can’t even do that. Instead they use off screen announcers for the Bundesliga!

    But then again, BeIN will probably snap up the rights when FOX is done with it.

  5. Shawn

    September 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    FOX Sports simply has terrible soccer coverage. Hosts & commentators just aren’t very good. Also, Bundesliga is not a competitive league as has been stated above.

  6. Bert

    September 1, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I have stopped watching FOX soccer regardless of league because I hate the way they minimize the screen to show commercial wrappers during a game. I find this to be very distracting and intrusive.

    • Joe

      September 1, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      life must be hard……

    • Steve

      September 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      That is annoying, but Fox has much worse issues with their soccer (football) broadcasting. The unnecessarily longest replays EVER, coupled with terrible editing like cutting away from a live play on goal to show a coach’s anxiety on the sideline or the 4th official announcing the stoppage time. Every time I have watched FOX broadcast soccer, they screw up at least 3-4 high energy moments: showing a long replay of a offensive build up (that just happened) instead of the live play, then when the replay ends possession has changed, or there’s a corner, or the ball is flying away from the keeper and you HAVE NO IDEA what just happened! etc etc etc. The worst was when someone took a shot from outside the box and the moment the ball leaves his foot and soars toward goal… they show the 4th official. WHY!?!?

  7. francis

    September 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    They’ve played 1 round of Bundesliga and we already know who the champ will be. Hardly must-watch TV

  8. Joe

    September 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Bundesliga will make it when poser Americans learn German and yell at TV’s in a bar with fake accents like they do EPL games.

  9. Chris

    September 1, 2016 at 12:20 am

    I am a Bundesliga fan, believe me… I am. But until FOX fixes their online content and provides a free (or at least through provider), UPDATED, online streaming service like every one of their current competitors ie. ESPN, BeIN, and NBC, it is difficult for me to follow the two or three teams I want to watch when I am limited to viewing 2-3 cable channels that can physically only show a fraction of matches live, or faced with paying out the ears for a subscription to an inferior Foxsoccer2go app that lacks platform support, quality, and pricing compared to the competitors mentioned above.

    When I can tune into ANY EPL game, or other match from NBC or ESPN on my 60″ flatscreen through the ease of my Roku, it becomes difficult to understand why FOX does not have the same infrastructure in place for their acquired property rights.

    Get with the times FOX… Get with the times.

  10. Kirby Grimes

    August 31, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    A) it was shown at the same time as Man United on NBC. They should know better than to try to go against the EPL. There were matches at other times they could have picked from.
    B) They dont advertise the Bundesliga on FOX over the air, or even the regional FSNs. Every night millions tune in on the FSN to watch baseball and soon football. A few ads, and have the announcers pitch it a few times.It just seems FOX refuses to try anything to grow soccer viewership.
    C) They really need to utilize the FSNs to show matches.

    • NaBUru38

      September 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      FSN has incredibly high ratings for basketball and baseball. Not using them to promote Fox Sports 1 is a terrible idea.

      • Vsssqz

        September 2, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        Why would they use FSN to show matches when they get more money and better ratings from the college sports they show? That makes no sense, don’t show higher rated options to promote the Bundesliga so people on this site and Chris Harris can be happy and write an article about it?

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