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)
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).
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