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TV Ratings

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for August 21-27, 2017

Last week saw two Premier League matches break the one million viewer mark. Saturday afternoon’s match between Manchester United and Leicester City drew 1.137 million viewers across NBC and Universo, up 38% from the same window last week and up 15% from the opening weekend. Then on Sunday, Liverpool’s 4-0 destruction of Arsenal drew 1.073 million viewers on NBCSN and Telemundo, up 4% from the opening weekend match which featured Chicharito’s West Ham United debut.

Bundesliga match week two ratings were up 56% from last season. Viewership peaked on Saturday when both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund were featured on FOX Sports 1. Through the first two weeks of the season, eight of the 11 Bundesliga matches available to cable subscribers have been on FOX Sports 1 with those matches averaging 104,750 viewers with Spanish-language viewership included.

MLS saw a slight increase in viewership for Heineken Rivalry Week broadcasts with the weekends four nationally-televised matches averaging 250,250 viewers on ESPN and FOX Sports 1, up just 7% from the 234,500 average cable viewers for the season before this weekend. However, when comparing this weekend’s numbers to the six other matches broadcast in August, viewership was up 27%.

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

18/26/17Premier LeagueMan Utd / Leicester CityNBC; 1071000Unvso; 660001,137,000
28/27/17Premier LeagueLiverpool / ArsenalNBCSN; 694000Telemundo; 3790001,073,000
38/26/17Liga MXTigres / LobosUnivision; 551000UDN; 309000860,000
48/26/17Liga MXChivas / QuerétaroUnivision; 530000UDN; 279000809,000
58/23/17Liga MXAmérica / Tigres—; —UDN; 596000596,000
68/27/17La LigaReal Madrid / ValenciabeIN; 129000beIE; 431000560,000
78/26/17Liga MXCruz Azul / Monterrey—; —UDN; 432000432,000
88/26/17Premier LeagueWest Ham / NewcastleNBCSN; 356000Unvso; 65000421,000
98/27/17MLSSeattle Sounders / Portland TimersFS1; 326000FOXD; 16000342,000
108/26/17La LigaAlavés / BarcelonabeIN; 90000beIE; 245000335,000
118/26/17Liga MXMonarcas / América—; —Gala; 331000331,000
128/25/17MLSNew York Red Bulls / New York CityESPN; 326000—; —326,000
138/21/17Premier LeagueMan City / EvertonNBCSN; 301000—; —301,000
148/23/17Liga MXMonterrey / TolucaUniMás; 275000—; —275,000
158/22/17Liga MXPumas / MoreliaUniMás; 267000—; —267,000
168/27/17Premier LeagueChelsea / EvertonCNBC; 230000—; —230,000
178/25/17Liga MXTijuana / Pachuca—; —UDN; 228000228,000
188/27/17Liga MXVeracruz / Pumas—; —UDN; 213000213,000
198/23/17Liga MXNecaxa / Cruz Azul—; —UDN; 207000207,000
208/22/17Liga MXPachuca / Veracruz—; —UDN; 194000194,000
218/27/17MLSLos Angeles Galaxy / San Jose EarthquakesFS1; 168000FOXD; 23000191,000
228/26/17Premier LeagueBournemouth / Man CityNBCSN; 169000Unvso; 20000189,000
238/27/17MLSMontreal Impact / Toronto FCESPN; 181000—; —181,000
248/26/17BundesligaBremen / BayernFS1; 124000UDN; 38000162,000
258/26/17BundesligaDortmund / HerthaFS1; 142000FOXD; 14000156,000
268/22/17Liga MXQuerétaro / Tijuana—; —UDN; 152000152,000
278/23/17UEFA CL PlayoffHoffenheim / LiverpoolFS1; 152000—; —152,000
288/26/17NWSLKansas City / OrlandoLifetime; 113000—; —113,000
298/25/17Ligue 1PSG / Saint-ÉtiennebeIN; 91000beIE; 19000110,000
308/27/17Liga MXToluca / Puebla—; —UDN; 106000106,000
318/27/17BundesligaLeipzig / FreiburgFS1; 81000UDN; 22000103,000
328/24/17CONCACAF LeagueOlimpia / Alianza—; —UDN; 102000102,000
338/26/17Serie ARoma / Inter Milan—; —beIE; 9800098,000
348/27/17La LigaGetafe / Sevilla—; —beIE; 9800098,000
358/26/17La LigaLas Palmas / Atlético MadridbeIN; 20000beIE; 7700097,000
368/25/17BundesligaKöln / HamburgFS2; 31000UDN; 900040,000
378/24/17CONCACAF LeaguePlaza Amador / Walter Ferreti—; —UDN; 3800038,000
388/27/17Serie ATorino / SassuolobeIN; 16000—; —16,000
398/27/17BundesligaHannover / SchalkeFS2; 14000—; —14,000
408/26/17BundesligaLeverkusen / HoffenheimFS2; 6000—; —6,000
418/26/17NASLPuerto Rico FC / Miami FCbeIN; 5000—; —5,000

Average MLS viewing audiences on US TV:

2017 MLS255,279 (52)294,158 (19)220,000 (5)440,750 (4)189,227** (22)
2016 MLS257,683 (63)290,179 (28)201,500 (4)658,000 (5)154,346 (26)
2017 NWSL96,167 (16)    
2017 USL19,000 (2)   *English-Only
     **One game missing

League averages this season:


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

HT ShowBuzz Daily and @thegoalkeeper

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  1. Rex Hearn

    September 6, 2017 at 10:22 am

    In your intro you write that you want to make viewing soccer ”Painless’ ! Who ever wrote that doesn’t know soccer enthusiasts, it isn’t ‘painless’ to watch – it is delightful to watch. The brain tells the foot what to do and magic happens. Soccer lovers appreciate how the players demonstrate courage , endurance and brilliant skills.
    So drop ‘painless’ it’s all to glib, no thought put behind its use. Yours Aye, Rex Hearn.

  2. oz

    September 4, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    You list Reign / Thorns as the TV match for the NWSL, but it was FC Kansas City / Orlando. None of the three Seattle vs. Portland derby matches were on television this season.

  3. Anthony

    September 1, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Games from three leagues (Liga MX, Premier League, La Liga) all beat the top MLS games this week in ratings… Seems like MLS is to 4th place in terms of popularity in the US. Still better than Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A though. It’s hard to see the Bundesliga contract being renewed

    • CoCo

      September 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      I bet my bottom dollar that, once La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A leave their respective networks to better networks, their numbers will increase, especially La Liga (due to Barcelona and Real Madrid).

    • Oliver Tse

      September 1, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      FOX has 1st option for worldwide rights to both Bundesliga and Eredivisie but chose only to exercise US rights to Bundesliga only, leaving US rights to Eredivisie on the table for IMG to sell during the current cycle.

      FOX has less shelf space for Bundesliga now that FOX has the Big Ten Conference “A” package to go with the Big East Conference basketball package.

      • Oliver Tse

        September 1, 2017 at 11:39 pm

        La Liga only has two places to go: whichever entity MEDIAPRO can find to overpay for US rights (if and when beIN goes out of business around December 2022) or Univision.

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