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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for August 15-20, 2017

Puebla’s 1-0 road win against Chivas de Guadalajara last week was the first Liga MX match of the Apertura to surpass the one million viewer number as 1.07 million tuned in to watch the game on Univision and Univision Deportes. Beginning with the start of the 2017 Apertura in July, Univision saw some changes to its Liga MX broadcasting schedule, adding two Friday night cable-only broadcasts. Because of this, generally seven Liga MX matches are broadcast live across Univision’s networks leading to slight decreases in average viewership and slight increases in total viewership each week. Through the first month of the apertura campaign, the league is averaging 499,625 viewers from 37 games for a total viewership of 16 million.

The Portland Timbers 2-0 win against the New York Red Bulls last Friday on FS1 ranked as the network’s second-smallest audience for an MLS match on the network in 2017 as just 121,000 viewers tuned in. After a strong month of March to open the 2017 MLS season, FOX Sports 1 has seen a 26% drop off in viewership. During the same period, ESPN has experienced a 20% drop.

In England, Arsenal’s 1-0 loss against Stoke City Saturday afternoon averaged 825,000 viewers on NBC and Universo, down 16% from 990,000 for Brighton’s Premier League debut against Manchester City last week. Sunday’s late kickoff saw a larger decrease in viewership, shedding 47% of its viewers on Telemundo alone as last week’s match did not feature Chicharito’s West Ham United.

Despite no games airing on the FOX broadcast network, Bundesliga ratings are up from the opening week of last year as an average of 83,400 viewers watched compared to just 75,000 in 2016. This is due in large part to FOX’s decision to air five matches on FS1 with Univision’s sub-licensing agreement also playing a significant role. Viewership could also have been affected by NBC’s decision to place many of Saturday’s Premier League matches behind an additional paywall (Premier League Pass).

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV for August 15-20, 2017:

RankDateCompetitionTeamsTV1TV2Total
18/19/17Liga MXChivas / PueblaUnivision; 662000UDN; 4070001,069,000
28/19/17Premier LeagueStoke City / ArsenalNBC; 778000Unvso; 47000825,000
38/20/17Premier LeagueSpurs / ChelseaNBCSN; 629000Telemundo; 185000814,000
48/19/17Premier LeagueLiverpool / Crystal PalaceNBCSN; 498000Unvso; 43000541,000
58/19/17Premier LeagueSwansea City / Man UtdNBCSN; 406000Unvso; 33000439,000
68/16/17Spanish SupercopaReal Madrid / BarcelonaESPN2; 315000—; —315,000
78/20/17Premier LeagueHuddersfield / NewcastleNBCSN; 289000—; —289,000
88/19/17Liga MXCruz Azul / Atlas—; —UDN; 285000285,000
98/19/17Liga MXTigres / Pumas—; —UDN; 274000274,000
108/16/17Copa MXPotros / América—; —UDN; 261000261,000
118/18/17Liga MXTijuana / Santos—; —UDN; 230000230,000
128/18/17Liga MXMorelia / Pachuca—; —UDN; 188000188,000
138/15/17UEFA CL PlayoffHoffenheim / LiverpoolFS1; 184000—; —184,000
148/15/17Copa MXCruz Azul / Zapateca—; —UDN; 184000184,000
158/20/17MLSSeattle Sounders / Minnesota UnitedFS1; 164000FOXD; 18000182,000
168/19/17Liga MXLeon / Monterrey—; —Gala; 153000153,000
178/18/17MLSTimbers / Red BullsFS1; 121000FOXD; 17000138,000
188/20/17Liga MXToluca / Necaxa—; —UDN; 137000137,000
198/15/17Copa MXCelaya / Monterrey—; —UDN; 135000135,000
208/18/17BundesligaBayern / LeverkusenFS1; 106000FOXD; 19000125,000
218/19/17NWSLCourage / SpiritLifetime; 109000—; —109,000
228/19/17BundesligaWolfsburg / DortmundFS1; 83000UDN; 18000101,000
238/17/17CONCACAF LeagueAlianza / Olimpia—; —UDN; 8600086,000
248/20/17BundesligaMönchengladbach / KölnFS1; 60000FOXD; 1700077,000
258/19/17BundesligaSchalke / LeipzigFS1; 46000UDN; 2000066,000
268/17/17CONCACAF LeagueWalter Ferreti / Plaza Amador—; —UDN; 6200062,000
278/20/17BundesligaFreiburg / FrankfurtFS1; 36000FOXD; 1200048,000
288/19/17NASLCosmos / Indy ElevenbeIN; 7000—; —7,000

Average MLS viewing audiences on US TV:

LeagueOverall*ESPNESPN2FOXFS1
2017 MLS252,202 (47)298,941 (17)220,000 (5)440,750 (4)183,450** (20)
2016 MLS257,683 (63)290,179 (28)201,500 (4)658,000 (5)154,346 (26)
2017 NWSL95,176 (17)    
2017 USL19,000 (2)   *English-Only
     **One game missing

League averages this season:

LeagueViewers
EPL603,455
LMX499,625
MLS252,202
NWSL95,176
BuLi83,400

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

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. sports tips

    September 1, 2017 at 9:41 am

    To be frank, a lot of fans and intellectuals expect an abundant play from Mexico. I guess the squad could profit by bringing down desires and the pressure that come on them. Have a look at nations like Wales and Iceland where fans are quite upbeat to be in enormous competitions and their teams just show incredible plays and overperforming.

  2. jason

    August 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    For the WST podcast I think you should note that the EFL on ESPN3 will continue in the international break showing a bunch of 3rd division (aka League One) games. Which I think is very neat.

    • Christopher Harris

      August 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      That’s a fantastic idea. I’ll add it to the show notes so we’ll be sure to mention it. Thanks Jason.

  3. David

    August 25, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Why don’t you show Univison on the MLS viewing audiences on US TV?

  4. Nicolas

    August 25, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Do you have numbers for PSG-Toulouse? Is there a Neymar effect?

    • Christopher Harris

      August 25, 2017 at 11:23 am

      If I remember correctly, the PSG-Toulouse game was on beIN SPORTS Connect only, so the viewing number would have been pretty small even with Neymar playing.

  5. ExPat

    August 25, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Do you have ESPN3 watching figures for EFL Championship?

    • Christopher Harris

      August 25, 2017 at 6:42 am

      Unfortunately those numbers are not available.

      • Paul

        August 26, 2017 at 9:14 pm

        That is good to know. I was beginning to think I was the only person watching Burton Albion vs Birmingham City on ESPN3

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