Viewership for the four MLS Knockout round playoff matches were down 10% from 2015 despite some matches expanding to include national English language coverage.
Last season’s four knockout round matches averaged 329,250 viewers shown exclusively via national TV on UniMás and Univision Deportes. This season saw both ESPN and FOX Sports pick up rights to broadcast one game each in English with Univision retaining Spanish-language exclusivity. However, the overall 2016 average viewership dropped to 294,500.
Viewership peaked on Wednesday as 463,000 viewers watched the Seattle Sounders controversially advance to the Western Conference Semifinals at the expense of Sporting Kansas City on UniMás, Univision Deportes and FOX Sports 1. Last season’s most viewed knockout round matchup also featured Sporting Kansas City as they fell on penalties to the eventual champion Portland Timbers. That match was viewed by 363,000 people.
Unfortunately for MLS, Wednesday’s matches were in direct competition to the Copa MX semifinal match between Club América and Chivas USA, broadcast in front of 1.4 million on Univision Deportes.
SEE MORE: Read our archive of soccer TV ratings