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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for April 17-23, 2017

El Clásico led the way in viewership this past week as 1.594 million tuned in to beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español for Real Madrid and Barcelona’s second league meeting of the season. The viewing figure was up 10% from 1.433 million viewers in their first matchup of the season and down 20% from the corresponding match last season.

Liga MX provided the only other soccer match to break the 1 million viewer mark last week as 1.1 million watched Monterrey take on Tigres on Univision.

Meanwhile, FOX Sports had two big matches last week as the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Spurs averaged 896,000 viewers on the FOX broadcast network and FOX Deportes. Also in midweek, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes averaged 858,000 viewers for the Champions League quarter-final second Leg between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

In the domestic game, ESPN’s broadcast of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s match against Seattle Sounders drew 225,000 viewers, up from 180,000 in the corresponding ESPN broadcast in 2016. On FOX Sports 1, Sunday’s match between New York City FC and Orlando City SC delivered the league’s second lowest viewed match of the season thus far with just 122,000 viewers.

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV for April 17-23, 2017:

Average viewing audiences for soccer leagues on US TV:

RankDateCompetitionTeamsTV1TV2Total
14/23/17La LigaBarcelona / Real MadridbeIN; 488000beIE; 11060001,594,000
24/22/17Liga MXMonterrey / TigresUnivision; 566000UDN; 5380001,104,000
34/22/17FA CupChelsea / SpursFOX; 799000FOXD; 97000896,000
44/18/17UEFA CL Quarter FinalsReal Madrid / BayernFS1; 439000FOXD; 419000858,000
54/19/17Copa MX FinalChivas / Morelia—; —UDN; 672000672,000
64/22/17Liga MXCruz Azul / Chivas—; —UDN; 549000549,000
74/23/17Liga MXSantos / América—; —UDN; 548000548,000
84/23/17FA CupMan City / ArsenalFS1; 374000FOXD; 128000502,000
94/23/17Liga MXPumas / VeracruzUnivision; 314000UDN; 178000492,000
104/18/17CONCACAF CL FinalTigres / Pachuca—; —UDN; 437000437,000
114/19/17UEFA CL Quarter FinalsBarcelona / JuventusFS1; 395000—; —395,000
124/23/17Premier LeagueLiverpool / Crystal PalaceNBCSN; 395000—; —395,000
134/22/17Liga MXNecaxa / Morelia—; —UDN; 343000343,000
144/22/17Premier LeagueWest Ham / EvertonNBCSN; 342000—; —342,000
154/23/17Premier LeagueBurnley / Man UtdNBCSN; 334000—; —334,000
164/17/17Premier LeagueMiddlesbrough / ArsenalNBCSN; 240000—; —240,000
174/20/17UEFA EL Quarter FinalsMan Utd / AnderlechtFS1; 226000—; —226,000
184/23/17MLSLos Angeles Galaxy / Seattle SoundersESPN; 225000—; —225,000
194/22/17MLSHouston Dynamo / San Jose EarthquakesUniMás; 216000—; —216,000
204/22/17La LigaEspanyol / Atlético Madrid—; —beIE; 132000132,000
214/23/17MLSNew York City / Orlando CityFS1; 122000—; —122,000
224/22/17NWSLPride / SpiritLifetime; 99000—; —99,000
234/23/17La LigaCelta / Betis—; —beIE; 5800058,000
244/19/17UEFA CL Quarter FinalsMonaco / DortmundFS2; 49000—; —49,000
254/22/17La LigaOsasuna / Sporting—; —beIE; 4700047,000
264/18/17UEFA CL Quarter FinalsLeicester City / Atlético MadridFS2; 43000—; —43,000
274/22/17La LigaVillarreal / Leganes—; —beIE; 3800038,000
284/21/17La LigaSevilla / Granada—; —beIE; 3700037,000
294/22/17BundesligaBayern / MainzFS2; 32000—; —32,000
304/21/17BundesligaKöln / HoffenheimFS2; 31000—; —31,000
314/22/17BundesligaMönchengladbach / DortmundFS2; 30000—; —30,000
324/18/17Ligue 1Metz / PSGbeIN; 7000beIE; 2000027,000
334/17/17La LigaAlaves / Villarreal—; —beIE; 2600026,000
344/22/17Serie AFiorentina / Inter MilanbeIN; 23000—; —23,000
354/20/17UEFA EL Quarter FinalsSchalke / AjaxFS2; 19000—; —19,000
364/23/17BundesligaSchalke / LeipzigFS2; 17000—; —17,000
374/23/17Serie AAC Milan / EmpolibeIN; 15000—; —15,000
384/17/17EFL ChampionshipDerby / HuddersfieldbeIN; 14000—; —14,000
394/23/17BundesligaFreiburg / LeverkusenFS2; 14000—; —14,000
404/22/17Ligue 1PSG / MontpellierbeIN; 13000—; —13,000
414/22/17NASLNew York Cosmos / JacksonvillebeIN; 12000—; —12,000
424/21/17EFL ChampionshipNorwich / BrightonbeIN; 10000—; —10,000
434/17/17EFL ChampionshipIpswich / NewcastlebeIN; 4000—; —4,000

Comparison of viewing numbers for soccer leagues on US TV:

LeagueAverage
Liga MX745,026
Premier League*385,786
MLS229,875
La Liga164,900
NWSL90,500
Bundesliga*43,414
Primeira Liga35,455
Serie A25,810
Ligue 116,846
Championship13,938
NASL6,750
  
* indicates number is english-only

MLS 2017 viewing average compared to previous years

LeagueOverallESPNESPN2FOXFS1UnivisionUniMás
2017 MLS229,875 (24)266,750 (4)272,000 (2)346,000 (1)200,625 (8)1,004,000 (1)205,429 (7)
2016 MLS254,522 (90)290,179 (28)201,500 (4)658,000 (5)154,346 (26)509,000 (1)223,120 (25)

SEE MORE: Access our archives of US TV ratings for soccer.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Francisco zenteno

    May 2, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Necaxa vs morelia got more views than the MLS games, that is surprising.
    I know liga mx gets more views than mls but that’s just sad.

  2. Anthony

    May 1, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Any theory as to why viewership was down 20% y-o-y for the Clasico?

    Also, when is bein’s contract for La Liga up? I would imagine La Liga would be better promoted on another network (though I don’t mind bein’s coverage in general, i thought they did a great job with Copa America a few years ago)

    • Christopher Harris

      May 1, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      My theory is that illegal streaming is (unfortunately) so prevalent that it’s causing a sizable dent in the number of TV viewers — not just for games on beIN SPORTS but across all sports networks and leagues.

      The game lived up to the hype. Still, 1.6 million is a great number for the game on beIN SPORTS.

      • Ben

        May 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm

        Unfortunately? Sorry I live in the US where everything is restricted to 2-3 streaming services through bullsh** companies like Comcast or MLS Live that have frequent blackout restriction preventing me from watching pretty much any domestic game. Why bother paying $150 for FoxSportsGo when I can pay $0 and still see the same advertising during half time on a free stream. If broadcasters want fewer people illegally streaming they should improve their services or at least allow VPN use. I agree that it makes tracking and gathering analytics difficult.

        • Christopher Harris

          May 2, 2017 at 2:25 pm

          There are plenty of legal, affordable options to watch soccer. You can cut the cord and pay anywhere from $30 to $45 per month to watch all of the soccer you want.

          With more and more coming on board, there are more than six different streaming companies out there offering legal streams of games in the US.

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