TV ratings for US Men’s National Team increase 32% in 2016 after Copa America boost

usmnt

In addition to revenue generated, sponsorships and attendances, TV ratings are one of the key metrics that US Soccer measures to gauge the effectiveness of the federation. During 2016, both the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) and US Women’s National Team (USWNT) saw impressive ratings figures from participating in Copa America and the Olympics respectively. While the attendance figures look grim, the TV ratings picture is somewhat rosier.

For the USMNT in 2016, the average viewing audience for their games on English-language television in the United States increased by 32% to 965,842 compared to 728,550 in 2015.

If the 2016 TV numbers for the USMNT games in Copa America are eliminated for more of an apples to apples comparison with 2015, the viewing audience average plummets to 466,308.

Meanwhile, the average viewership for games featuring the USWNT in 2016 is 721,450. If the USWNT games from the Olympics and Olympics qualifying are removed, the average drops to 298,688 viewers per game.

Looking at the TV viewing numbers for the US Women’s National Team in 2016, the average decreased 71% from 2,522,400 in 2015. Given that it’s the year after the FIFA Women’s World Cup, a significant drop-off was to be expected.

While the numbers for the Olympics were impressive, the number that jumps out in 2016 is the 622,000 for the friendly against Colombia in April. It’s much higher than any other friendly. But looking back, that game was played just a few days after the USWNT had filed their wage discrimination complaint and therefore had a larger than normal spotlight on them.

So despite falling attendance, US Soccer is still doing well on TV with both the USMNT and USWNT drawing well over half a million viewers per game. The gap between the viewership for the two should widen significantly next year as the USWNT does not play another competitive game until 2018 at the earliest while the USMNT has World Cup Qualifying and the Gold Cup next year.

2016 USMNT TV viewing audiences

January 31: USA vs. Iceland (friendly) – ESPN2 – 531,000

February 5: USA vs. Canada (friendly) – FS1 – 294,000

March 25: Guatemala vs. USA (World Cup Qualifier) – beIN SPORTS – 162,000

March 29: USA vs. Guatemala (World Cup Qualifier) – ESPN2 – 954,000

May 22: Puerto Rico vs. USA (friendly) – FS1 – 304,000

May 25: USA vs. Ecuador (friendly) – ESPN2 – 429,000

May 28: USA vs. Bolivia (friendly) – FS1 – 454,000

June 3: USA vs. Colombia (Copa America) – FS1 – 1,536,000

June 7: USA vs. Costa Rica (Copa America) – FS1 – 1,600,000

June 11: USA vs. Paraguay (Copa America) – FS1 – 2,061,000

June 16: USA vs. Ecuador (Copa America) – FS1 – 2,132,000

June 21: USA vs. Argentina (Copa America) – FS1 – 3,290,000

June 25: USA vs. Colombia (Copa America) – FX – 1,670,000

September 2: St. Vincent & the Grenadines vs. USA (World Cup Qualifier) – beIN SPORTS – 95,000

September 6: USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago (World Cup Qualifier) – FS1 – 550,000

October 7: Cuba vs. USA (friendly) – ESPN2 – 232,000

October 11: USA vs. New Zealand (friendly) – ESPN – 554,000

November 11: USA vs. Mexico (World Cup Qualifier) – FS1 – 1,262,000

November 15: Costa Rica vs. USA (World Cup Qualifier) – beIN SPORTS – 241,000

Total viewership: 18,351,000
Average viewership: 965,842

 

2016 USWNT TV viewing audiences

January 23: USA vs. Ireland (friendly) – FS1 – 268,000

February 15: USA vs. Puerto Rico (Olympic Qualifier) – NBCSN – 243,000

February 19: USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Olympic Qualifier) – NBCSN – 329,000

March 3: USA vs. England (She Believes Cup) – FS1 – 293,000

April 6: USA vs. Colombia (friendly) – FS1 – 296,000

April 10: USA vs. Colombia (friendly) – ESPN – 622,000

June 2: USA vs. Japan (friendly) – FS1 – 299,000

June 5: USA vs. Japan (friendly) – ESPN2 – 434,000

July 9: USA vs. South Africa (friendly) – FS1 – 323,000

July 22: USA vs. Costa Rica (friendly) – ESPN – 488,000

August 3: USA vs. New Zealand (Olympics) – NBCSN – 1,300,000

August 6: USA vs. France (Olympics) – NBCSN – 2,900,000

August 9: USA vs. Colombia (Olympics) – NBCSN – 3,600,000

August 12: USA vs. Sweden (Olympics) – NBCSN – 1,850,000

September 15: USA vs. Thailand (friendly) – ESPN2 – 266,000

September 18: USA vs. Netherlands (friendly) – FS1 – 243,000

October 19: USA vs. Switzerland (friendly) – ESPN2 – 169,000

October 23: USA vs. Switzerland (friendly) – FS1 – 149,000

November 10: USA vs. Romania (friendly) – ESPN2 – 212,000

November 13: USA vs. Romania (friendly) – FS1 – 145,000

Total viewership: 14,429,000
Average viewership: 721,450

 

Note: The following WNT games were not featured on US television during 2016.

February 10: USA vs. Costa Rica (Olympic Qualifier)
February 13: USA vs. Mexico (Olympic Qualifier)
February 21: USA vs. Canada (Olympic Qualifier)
March 6: USA vs. France (She Believes Cup)
March 9: USA vs. Germany (She Believes Cup)

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