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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for August 8-13, 2017

The 2017/18 season of the Premier League kicked off on a Friday for the first time as Arsenal hosted Leicester, which drew 375,000 viewers on NBCSN, up 80% from last season’s opener between Hull and Leicester on CNBC. Premier League viewership peaked at 1.028 million viewers on Sunday afternoon for Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat of West Ham United. For the first week, the Premier League averaged 537,000 viewers on NBC’s networks, up 30% from last season’s opening week which saw heavy competition from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Real Madrid and Barcelona met in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup before an audience of 570,000 on ESPN Sunday afternoon. English language coverage of the match was down 30% from their International Champions Cup meeting two weeks prior on July 29. Spanish language numbers were not available.

Also, last week marked the first time an NWSL broadcast has drawn a larger audience than an MLS match played on the same weekend. Sunday’s match between two of MLS’s biggest franchises managed to draw just 73,000 viewers on ESPN2 while a match between the Washington Spirit and Boston Breakers drew an audience of 80,000 on Lifetime one day earlier. For MLS, the match was the least-watched since the LA Galaxy took on FC Dallas on FS1 in October 2016, and ESPN2’s lowest since the start of the current rights deal.

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV for August 8-13, 2017:

Average viewing audiences for soccer leagues on US TV:

RankDateCompetitionTeamsTV1TV2Total
18/13/17Premier LeagueMan Utd / West HamNBCSN; 680000Telemundo; 3480001,028,000
28/12/17Premier LeagueBrighton / Man CityNBC; 915000Unvso; 75000990,000
38/12/17Liga MXMonterrey / ChivasUnivision; 484000UDN; 345000829,000
48/12/17Liga MXNecaxa / LeonUnivision; 409000UDN; 184000593,000
58/13/17Liga MXPumas / LobosUnivision; 393000UDN; 186000579,000
68/13/17Spanish SupercopaBarcelona / Real MadridESPN; 570000—; —570,000
78/12/17Premier LeagueChelsea / BurnleyNBCSN; 482000Unvso; 48000530,000
88/11/17Liga MXAtlas / América—; —UDN; 525000525,000
98/13/17Premier LeagueNewcastle / SpursNBCSN; 408000Unvso; 35000443,000
108/11/17Premier LeagueArsenal / Leicester CityNBCSN; 375000—; —375,000
118/12/17Premier LeagueWatford / LiverpoolNBCSN; 364000—; —364,000
128/8/17UEFA Super CupReal Madrid / Man UtdFS1; 315000—; —315,000
138/8/17Copa MXAmérica / Potros—; —UDN; 276000276,000
148/12/17Liga MXCruz Azul / Toluca—; —UDN; 242000242,000
158/13/17Liga MXSantos / Veracruz—; —UDN; 182000182,000
168/13/17Ligue 1Guingamp / PSGbeIN; 62000beIE; 118000180,000
178/8/17Copa MXZacatepec / Tigres—; —UDN; 156000156,000
188/11/17Liga MXPuebla / Tijuana—; —UDN; 156000156,000
198/9/17Copa MXPumas / Monterrey—; —UDN; 127000127,000
208/12/17Liga MXPachuca / Tigres—; —Gala; 8500085,000
218/9/17Copa MXPachuca / Querétaro—; —Gala; 8400084,000
228/12/17NWSLSpirit / BreakersLifetime; 80000—; —80,000
238/13/17MLSLos Angeles Galaxy / New York CityESPN2; 73000—; —73,000
248/10/17CONCACAF LeagueAlajuelense / Olimpia—; —UDN; 5600056,000
258/10/17CONCACAF LeagueÁrabe Unido / Central—; —UDN; 4500045,000

Average MLS viewing audiences on US TV:

LeagueOverall*ESPNESPN2FOXFS1
2017 MLS260,620 (46)298,941 (17)220,000 (5)440,750 (4)188,000** (18)
2016 MLS257,683 (63)290,179 (28)201,500 (4)658,000 (5)154,346 (26)
2017 NWSL94,313 (16)    
2017 USL19,000 (2)   *English-Only
     **One game missing

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

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Fc cincy

    August 18, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Fc cincy with just local tv would make this list!

  2. OpenCupFanatic

    August 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    NYRB / FC Cincinnati’s USOC match would come in #24 based on local broadcast ratings in Cincinnati alone: https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/08/17/fc-cincinnati-s-tv-ratings-soar.html?ana=twt

    • Fc cincy

      August 18, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Whoops, just saw this.

  3. Bigapplepie

    August 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Collin, is that LAG/NYC number right? It’s shockingly low!

    • Christopher Harris

      August 18, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      It is correct. Taylor Twellman posted on Twitter that ESPN didn’t get a chance to promote that the game would be on ESPN2. But to me, that’s no excuse. If soccer fans really want to watch a game, it’s pretty easy to find out when they’re on (thank you Google) like they do for other leagues.

      • Joe

        August 18, 2017 at 3:23 pm

        OK OK yes its really bad but how many games fell below 100k this year? From what i can see none have so he does have a point.

    • Collin Werner

      August 19, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Unfortunately it is the correct number.

  4. mark hadden

    August 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    manchester united didnt play NEWCASTLE

    • Christopher Harris

      August 17, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      It sure felt like it by the way that West Ham United played. The Hammers seemed to give up near the end.

    • Collin Werner

      August 17, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Apologies for the mistake, however, both West Ham and Newcastle looked awful on Sunday.

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