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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for May 8-14, 2017

Mexican soccer continued to dominate American television as the Liguilla began this past week. Saturday’s match between Monterrey and Toluca drew 1.3 million viewers on Univision to make it the most-watched soccer match of the week. The following day, Chivas and Atlas drew 1.2 million viewers to become the most-watched game that day.

Meanwhile, Major League Soccer continued its TV ratings struggles as not a single game of the five nationally broadcast this weekend managed to draw more than 300,000 viewers. Portland and Atlanta came the closest Sunday afternoon on ESPN drawing 297,000.

Better news for fans of the NWSL as Saturday’s match between Sky Blue FC and the Houston Dash was watched by a season high 109,000 on Lifetime. The league is now averaging 88,600 viewers five weeks into the new season.

Finally, the Bundesliga made its penultimate appearance on the FOX broadcast network Saturday as 339,000 people witnessed the high scoring match between the 2016-17 champions Bayern Munich and runners-up RB Leipzig.

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV for May 8-14, 2017:

Average viewing audiences for soccer leagues on US TV:

15/13/17Liga MX LiguillaMonterrey / TigresUnivision; 1300000
25/14/17Liga MX LiguillaChivas / AtlasUnivision; 1200000
35/13/17Liga MX LiguillaToluca / SantosUDN; 686000
45/10/17Liga MX LiguillaTigres / MonterreyUDN; 569000
55/14/17Premier LeagueSpurs / Man UtdNBCSN; 568000
65/10/17Liga MX LiguillaSantos / TolucaUDN; 513000
75/9/17UEFA CL Semi FinalsJuventus / MonacoFS1/D; 493000
85/13/17Premier LeagueArsenal / Stoke CityNBCSN; 425000
95/10/17UEFA CL Semi FinalsAtlético Madrid / Real MadridFS1; 366000
105/13/17BundesligaLeipzig / BayernFOX; 339000
115/13/17Premier LeagueSwansea City / SunderlandNBCSN; 300000
125/14/17MLSPortland Timbers / Atlanta UnitedESPN; 297000
135/14/17Premier LeagueWest Ham / LiverpoolNBCSN; 293000
145/13/17Premier LeagueMan City / Leicester CityNBCSN; 266000
155/14/17La LigaLas Palmas / BarcelonabeIN; 215000
165/12/17Premier LeagueWest Brom / ChelseaNBCSN; 205000
175/11/17UEFA EL Semi FinalsMan Utd / Celta VigoFS1; 195000
185/13/17MLSChicago Fire / Seattle SoundersESPN2; 189000
195/8/17Premier LeagueChelsea / MiddlesbroughNBCSN; 188000
205/14/17MLSFC Dallas / New York CityFS1/D; 150000
215/14/17MLSNew York Red Bulls / Los Angeles GalaxyFS1/D; 168000
225/13/17MLS Colorado Rapids / San Jose EarthquakesUniMás; 144000
235/13/17NWSLDash / Sky BlueLifetime; 109000
245/14/17Primeira LigaPorto / FerreiraUDN; 39000

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

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  1. Donald Dunk

    May 24, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    The Mexican league? That is more boring than Serie A or even baseball.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 24, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      I beg to differ.

      Try watching the final series this week between Chivas Guadalajara and Tigres: Thursday night at 10pm Eastern Time on Univision Deportes Network (UDN), and Sunday night at 7pm Eastern Time on UDN or Univision (free-to-air).

      Liga MX isn’t as bad as you Premier League snobs think it is, if the matches are played at night instead of during high noon.

      Frankly, the English Premier League had too many unwatchable matches this past season. There weren’t many memorable EPL matches since last December.

      • vsqz

        May 24, 2017 at 7:53 pm

        First smart thing you have posted on this site and is not full of bs.

    • Tim

      May 25, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      HAHAHA you must be another one of the “lads” who is a die hard Man U fan even though you more than likely never been there and have 0 connection to the team but loving jerking to the EPL still. Mexico > England

  2. Jack S.

    May 22, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Are any of those Mexican league games broadcast in the US in English?

    • Christopher Harris

      May 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      On Facebook, yes, some of the games are broadcast in English-language. Check out the Univision Deportes Facebook page for more info.

      • Oliver Tse

        May 24, 2017 at 6:49 pm

        The English-language voices for Liga MX and MLS on Univision Deportes Network and Univision Deportes Facebook page are Ramses Sandoval and Nicolas Cantor.

        Sandoval is a high-energy Southern Californian of Latin American descent. I understand that he does the non-stop Mexican auctioneer style of commentary, but in English. That style doesn’t work very well.

        Nicolas Cantor of course is the son of the most famous soccer announcer in the U.S. regardles of language, Argentine commentator Andres Cantor, who now works at Telemundo Deportes.

        The elder Cantor was at the right place in the right time in 1994, as he called every World Cup USA 1994 match in Spanish for Univision. English-speaking viewers defected in large numbers from ESPN/ABC because ESPN/ABC assigned golf announcer Roger Twibell to the #1 team, ahead of Bob Ley and Ian Darke. The elder Cantor was purged by Univision in the spring of 2000, and he briefly worked at NBC, calling Olympic matches in English (men’s matches with Alexi Lalas, women’s matches with Amy Griffin) before he landed at Telemundo in February 2001.

        • vsqz

          May 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

          Did you have lunch with them in 1995?

  3. Oliver Tse

    May 18, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Not having a “big 6” English team in the UEFA Champions League Semifinals have hurt the viewership on FS1 in English.

    The viewership for the semifinals this season is down about 20% compared to what ESPN(1 or 2) were drawing for the semifinals 10 years go.

    2007 was the first year we noticed a significant uptick in Champions League ratings. FOX Sports of course noticed (and FOX also noticed that ESPN had hired Jamie Horowitz to re-program ESPN2 on weekday afternoons) and acted accordingly in March 2009 with a big bid.

    • Mrx

      May 20, 2017 at 1:17 am

      Not having big 6? Who gives a **** about spurs and Arsenal? Rating was fine even if these two didn’t make late stage in ages. Rating is bit low because of midweak and teams like Bayern and Barcelona going out in qf. Monaco is not a big crowd puller. Ucl rating will be sky high from 2018 when they’ll telecast their match on weekend. I’m wondering how big liga MX will become in the Us with ever increasing Hispanic audience. Can they become as big to squeeze over close to 1.5 billion a year from univision? Liga MX clubs also should pull big sponsers from us companies.

      • Oliver Tse

        May 20, 2017 at 3:06 am


        UEFA Champions League Final has been on a Saturday since May 2010, when FOX took over the rights in the U.S. in both English and Spanish. Having an English club makes a big difference in viewership in the U.S., as Manchester United has proven year after year.

        Viewership in Liga MX in the U.S. peaked in 2007, when 4.3 million viewers tuned into a Liguilla semifinal 2nd leg match between Club America and Chivas on a Sunday night (7pm Pacific, 10pm Eastern.)

        Liga MX is now getting about half the TV audience it used to draw in the U.S. 10 years ago. The younger generation of Mexican-Americans are NOT tuning in.

        • Mrx

          May 20, 2017 at 10:54 pm

          Uefa cl final draw big audience over 2 million, twice than any pl match on weekend . Sorry dude but only a loser with no idea of football will like to see spurs or Arsenal in cl semi. Team like chelsea and United will make cl look good like old days. Watch out for cl rating when all matches are played on weekend. Even with weekdays cl is averaging more than pl that’s telecasted on weekend.

          • Oliver Tse

            May 24, 2017 at 6:50 pm

            What are you talking about?

            The UEFA Champions League will remain on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at least through 2021. Only the final match will be on Saturday (evening prime time in Europe, mid-afternoon in North America.)

            • vsqz

              May 24, 2017 at 7:52 pm

              Send your contacts smoke signals to change the CL schedule around.

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