MLS TV ratings do best when other soccer leagues aren’t playing

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the third and final article in the series about MLS TV ratings, we can reveal that MLS does better when the other soccer leagues are not playing.

The table below shows the monthly figures for MLS viewing this year since March:

MonthAvg. Viewers Per Game
March284,667
April246,000
May277,571
June478,200
July324,100
August166,706
September297,545
October214,071
November286,429

Clearly, the best months are June and July when only baseball is being played in the US and the other major soccer leagues are between seasons (of course, Euro 2016 ran from June 10 to July 10, so there was still some competition, but none of that was prime time).

MLS is competing in an overcrowded market. Between August and December, MLS supplied only 6% of soccer games shown on TV, at the same time as facing competition from the NFL and college football, as well, for at least part of the time, from MLB, NBA and NHL. Worse still, the rival soccer leagues are not dependent on the US market, and so are always likely to offer competitive deals.

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