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Man City-Arsenal final delivers strong numbers for ESPN

The 2018 League Cup final between Manchester City and Arsenal averaged 789,000 viewers across ESPN and ESPN Deportes, up 50 percent compared to the 526,000 viewers who watched the 2017 cup final on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS En Espanol.

In the 3-0 Manchester City FC victory over Arsenal FC at the historic Wembley Stadium on February 25, the match announcers for the ESPN broadcast were Mark Donaldson and Craig Burley.

The English-language telecast delivered 672,000 average viewers on ESPN, nearly three times the audience for the final in 2017 (230,000 viewers). The game on ESPN Deportes delivered an average audience of 117,000 Hispanic viewers, with 69 percent of the viewers between the ages of 18 and 49.

The top 10 local markets for the ESPN telecast were: Raleigh-Durham (1.2 rating), Louisville (1.1), Providence (1.1), Greenville (0.9), Milwaukee (0.9), Portland (0.9) and San Francisco (0.9), Richmond (0.8), Chicago (0.8) and Austin (0.8).

Almost all of the English-language broadcasts of the 2017/18 League Cup tournament were shown on ESPN3 this season with a few select games, including the final, shown on cable television. Given the impressive viewing number with very little promotion or advertising of the game on ESPN, it’s possible that the self-acclaimed Worldwide Leader of Sports will feature League Cup games more prominently on its airwaves next season.

Sunday’s telecast marked the first English Football League final on an ESPN network in the United States.

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  1. Ning

    February 28, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Hopefully this could be the catalyst for ESPN to pick up FA cup and Serie A next season.

  2. Brendan

    February 27, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    Couldn’t agree more was impressive should had studio analysis say starting at 11am . The FA Cup would be great on ESPN . Plenty of channels to choose from to show it on . Proper preview and review shows to go along with it

  3. Rick

    February 27, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    ESPN should learn from that soccer continues to grow and try to get back into broadcasting more games. The soccer ratings are well above most of their daily college basketball games.
    ESPN should pick up the FA cup and promote the game more.

  4. Azer

    February 27, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Impressive numbers but ESPN could have done the presentation much better. No studio analyses from the ESPNFC crew and the commentary was awful, no world feed. Mark Donaldson is OK, Craig Burley is a great analyst in studio, but bad at commentary. In addition, ESPN decided to remove the ticker in the 21st minute. I’m guessing they received complaints from viewers. Overall it wasn’t bad. I’ll take ESPN any day over Fox and it’s domestic crew for analyses and commentary.

    • Tony

      February 28, 2018 at 8:55 am

      I agree awful commentary with no crowd noise which gave no atmosphere.Why not stick to the world feed ??

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