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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for May 15-21, 2017

Premier League Championship Sunday viewership on the NBC network saw little change from last season as just 10,000 fewer people watched Arsenal defeat Everton. However, viewership was down 19% when compared to 2015’s final day match between Manchester United and Hull City.

Major League Soccer on ESPN saw a viewership increase of 11% this week as the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated expansion side Minnesota United 2-1. After ten matches, MLS is averaging 273,300 viewers on ESPN’s networks, with that number increasing to 286,000 when ESPN2’s three matches are excluded. The numbers are looking very similar when compared to ESPN’s first 10 games last season, which averaged 274,700 viewers.

The National Women’s Soccer League has posted at least 100,000 viewers on Lifetime for the second consecutive week bringing the league’s average viewership up to 90,500 viewers after six games. Last season the NWSL averaged only 88,500 viewers after 6 matches on FS1, including two semifinals and the final.

Finally, the Bundesliga on FOX managed to draw its second largest audience of the season as 395,000 tuned in for Bayern Munich’s final match of the season against SC Freiburg. FOX concluded the 2016-17 Bundesliga campaign averaging 327,714 viewers from seven matches available over the air. For comparison, NBC concluded their coverage of the Premier League averaging 855,583 viewers over 24 matches.

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV for May 15-21, 2017:

Average viewing audiences for soccer leagues on US TV:

15/21/17Liga MX LiguillaChivas / TolucaUniMás; 14420001,442,000
25/18/17Liga MX LiguillaTigres / TijuanaUDN; 924000924,000
35/21/17Premier LeagueArsenal / EvertonNBC; 787000787,000
45/18/17Liga MX LiguillaToluca / ChivasUDN; 659000659,000
55/20/17BundesligaBayern / FreiburgFOX; 395000395,000
65/20/17Ascenso MXDorados / LobosUDN; 390000390,000
75/21/17MLSMinnesota United / Los Angeles GalaxyESPN; 331000331,000
85/21/17Premier LeagueLiverpool / MiddlesbroughNBCSN; 298000298,000
95/21/17La LIgaMalaga / Real MadridbeIN; 207000207,000
105/21/17MLSOrlando City / New York CityFS1/D; 189000189,000
115/15/17Premier LeagueChelsea / WatfordNBCSN; 180000180,000
125/16/17Premier LeagueArsenal / SunderlandNBCSN; 173000173,000
135/20/17MLSDC United / Chicago FireUniMás; 164000164,000
145/17/17Premier LeagueSouthampton / Man UtdNBCSN; 155000155,000
155/21/17Premier LeagueChelsea / SunderlandSyFy; 136000136,000
165/21/17Premier LeagueWatford / Man CityUSA/Unvso; 115000115,000
175/21/17Premier LeagueMan Utd / Crystal PalaceCNBC; 102000102,000
185/20/17NWSLSky Blue / DashLifetime; 100000100,000
195/21/17Premier LeagueBurnley / West HamOxygen; 3700037,000
205/21/17Premier LeagueSwansea City / West BromEsquire; 10001,000

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

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  1. Anthony

    May 30, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I posted this in another thread, but maybe some of the issue with EPL ratings is that more of the “big games” are on Mondays (and Fridays) instead of Saturday at 12:30.

    The title race was pretty poor this season in general. NBC got huge ratings when Leicester were approaching the title in 2016. A genuinely close title race between a number of teams (which we haven’t seen in years) would help ratings.

    • mark williamson

      May 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Totally agree, even for a more avid fan that would want anyone other than Man City, Man United or Chelsie to win the PL, it is hard to stay focused on the season when it is basically the same top 3 or 4 year in and year out. Unless you get Extra Time on NBC even the big games of the week are pretty predictable. With Man City and Man United already promising record breaking or near record breaking player acquisitions over the summer one can only imagine that once again it will be the same top 3 or 4 next season as well. Big money is great for the sport but it can also ruin the competitiveness as well. We shall see. No doubt the soccer foundation is growing in the country though.

      • Oliver Tse

        May 30, 2017 at 1:11 pm

        Thank you, Mr. Williamson, for your input. I have enjoyed your broadcasts on ESPN(1 or 2) in the U.S.

        (For those who don’t know, ESPN imported Mr. Williamson from Scotland to Bristol, Connecticut to replace Derek Rae when Derek agreed to be assigned to Scottish Premier League matches on-site for ESPN UK.)

        to be continued…

        • mark williamson

          May 30, 2017 at 11:15 pm

          Sorry, wrong Mr. Williamson.

  2. Lakersfan

    May 28, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Least watch season for epl on nbc. The buzz has worn off. Me personally, I am a la liga and mls fan. Never been big on epl.

    • Oliver Tse

      May 29, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Ratings for all soccer TV in the US, regardless of language, are down in comparison to recent years.

      Liga MX is down about 40 per cent compared to the peak in 2007.

      EPL is also down. Novelty has worn off. NBC rode the “authentic British” presentation train with success for a while, but Sam Flood and Pierre Moossa now have to earn their money as they tweak PL on NBC over the summer.

      We’ll how Turner will squeeze lemonade out of rocks in 2018, as AT&T will clamp down on Turner. Other than the studio host (presumably Kate Riley), Turner will have to use freelancers as pundits and world feeds to keep cost under control under challenging economic conditions.

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