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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for September 6-16, 2018

The September 11 international friendly between the United States and Mexico in Nashville drew a combined 3.127 million viewers, making it the most-watched non-World Cup soccer match on American television in 2018. The United States’ defeat against Brazil four days earlier was watched by a combined 1.912 million viewers, making it the second most-watched match involving the United States Men’s National Team team this year.

In MLS, New York City FC and DC United’s 1-1 draw on September 8 was the most-watched MLS match on American television without a World Cup lead-in since the Portland Timbers 2-1 victory over Los Angeles FC on May 19 drew 465,000 viewers.

Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Watford averaged 806,000 viewers on NBC, up 30% from last season’s corresponding match between Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur which drew just 621,000 viewers. Premier League matches on NBC are up 2.5% through the first five broadcasts of the 2018-19 season.

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV for September 6-16, 2018:

19/11Int’l FriendlyUSMNT / MexicoESPN: 827000 / Univision: 23000003,127,000
29/7Int’l FriendlyUSMNT / BrazilFS1: 512000 / Univision: 14000001,912,000
39/7Int’l FriendlyMexico / Uruguay—: — / Univision: 19000001,900,000
49/15Premier LeagueWatford / Man UtdNBC: 806000 / Unvso: 47000853,000
59/15Liga MXAmérica / MoreliaUnivision: 734000 / —: —734,000
69/8UEFA Nations LeagueEngland / SpainUniMás: 239000 / UDN: 223000462,000
79/15Premier LeagueSpurs / LiverpoolNBCSN: 388000 / Unvso: 47000435,000
89/9UEFA Nations LeagueFrance / NetherlandsUniMás: 213000 / UDN: 181000394,000
99/8MLSNew York City FC / DC UnitedUniMás: 377000 / UDN: —377,000
109/15Premier LeagueMan City / FulhamNBCSN: 294000 / Unvso: 28000322,000
119/16Premier LeagueEverton / West HamNBCSN: 322000 / —: —322,000
129/15MLSColorado Rapids / Atlanta UnitedUnivision: 290000 / UDN: —290,000
139/15Liga MXMonterrey / ChivasFS2: — / FOXD: 227000227,000
149/16MLSDC United / New York Red BullsESPN: 216000 / ESPND: —216,000
159/14Liga MXVeracruz / Toluca—: — / UDN: 213000213,000
169/16Liga MXAtlas / Tijuana—: — / UDN: 196000196,000
179/10UEFA Nations LeaguePortugal / Italy—: — / UDN: 190000190,000
189/7UEFA Nations LeagueItaly / PolandESPN2: 132000 / UDN: 55000187,000
199/15Premier LeagueChelsea / CardiffCNBC: 181000 / —: —181,000
209/16Liga MXSantos / León—: — / UDN: 172000172,000
219/15Liga MXQuerétaro / Puebla—: — / UDN: 146000146,000
229/6UEFA Nations LeagueGermany / FranceESPN2: — / UDN: 144000144,000
239/11UEFA Nations LeagueSpain / CroatiaESPN2: — / UDN: 140000140,000
249/8UEFA Nations LeagueSwitzerland / Iceland—: — / UDN: 9300093,000
259/9UEFA Nations LeagueDenmark / Wales—: — / UDN: 9100091,000
269/14BundesligaDortmund / FrankfurtFS1: — / UDN: 9000090,000
279/15Liga MXPachuca / Tigres—: — / Gala: 6200062,000
289/4Int’l Friendly (W)USWNT / ChileESPN2: — / UDN: 4900049,000
299/9UEFA Nations LeagueUkraine / Slovakia—: — / UDN: 3000030,000
309/8UEFA Nations LeagueNorthern Ireland / Bosnia—: — / UDN: 1900019,000
319/15BundesligaRB Leipzig / HannoverFS2: — / UDN: 1900019,000
329/15BundesligaMönchengladbach / SchalkeFS2: — / UDN: 1300013,000

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

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  1. Drago

    September 22, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Off topic: It looks like you are missing some games on the TV schedule.
    Today, Sept 22, you are missing at least two games that are available on broadcast TV:
    On NBC, starting at 11.30 AM (CT), you can watch Tottenham Hotspur at Brighton & Hove Albion.
    On UniMas, starting at 11:30 AM (CT), you can watch Bayern Munich vs Schalke 04.
    And it’s not the first time.

  2. JP

    September 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Who’s this imposter ‘JP’? There’s only room in this town for one of us

    • JP

      September 22, 2018 at 11:46 am


  3. JP

    September 22, 2018 at 10:24 am

    MLS regular season viewership up 21% vs. 2017 and 25% vs. 2016. MLS averaging about 311,000 viewers per game (This includes the ASG vs. Juventus and MLS Homegrown game vs. Tigres U20’s)

    Missing Games
    TFC/Seattle 5/19/18 FS1
    NYCFC/RBNY 7/8/18 FS1
    RBNY/LAFC 8/5/18 FS1
    TFC/NYCFC 8/12/18 ESPN
    DCU/Orlando 8/12/18 FS1
    DCU/NER 8/19/18 FS1
    NYCFC/RBNY 8/22/18 FS1
    Chicago/OFC 9/16/18 FS1

    Kudos to Univision whose MLS viewership numbers are up 1.5% vs. 2017 and 6.6% over 2016. Shame on FS1 for not reporting now 7 MLS games this year.

    • Edwin

      September 22, 2018 at 10:56 am

      MLS TV 2018 TV Ratings

      ESPN Networks FOX Networks Univision Networks

      Week 1

      HOU v ATL 469K UNI March 3 Sat 330pm
      SEA v LAFC 456K ESPN Mar 4 Sun 5pm
      SKC v NYCFC 180K FS1 Mar 4 Sun 730 pm
      LAG v Port 168K FS1 Mar 4 Sun 10pm


      ATL v DC 576K ESPN Mar 11 Sun 3pm
      RSL v LAFC 429K UNI Mar 10 Sat 330pm

      Week 3

      NYCFC v OCSC 239k UNI Mar 17 Sat 330pm

      Week 4

      FCD v Portland 198k UniMas Mar 24 Sat 330pm

      Week 5

      OCSC v NYRB 171k UniMas Mar 31 Sat 1pm
      San Jose v NYCFC 115k ESPN2 Mar 31 Sat 8pm
      LAG v LAFC 676K FOX Mar 31 3 pm Sat

      Week 6

      ATL v LAFC ESPN 259k Apr 7 Sat 5pm
      LAG v SKC FS1 229k Apr 8 Sun 9pm
      OCSC v Portland 181k ESPN Apr 8 Sun 4pm

      Week 7

      Phil vs Orlando ESPN 253k Apr 13 Fri 8pm
      Chicago v LAG UNI 341k Apr 14 Sat 330 pm
      ATL UTD v NYCFC FS1 197k Apr 15 Sun 6 pm
      Sporting KC v Seattle ESPN 248k Apr 15 Sun 4 pm

      Week 8

      Seattle v Minnesota ESPN 204k Apr 22 Sun 4 pm
      Portland v NYCFC FS1 152k Apr 22 Sun 6 pm
      NYRB v Chicago UNI 281k Apr 21 Sat 330 pm

      Week 9

      Philly vs DCU Unimas 148k UniMas Sun Apr 28 330pm
      Colorado vs Orlando ESPN 173k Sun Apr 29 4pm
      LAFC vs Seattle FS1 248K Sun Apr 29 9pm

      Week 10

      Toronto FC vs Seattle ?? FS1 Wed 5/9/18/ 730pm**
      LAFC vs FC Dallas 384k UNI Sat 5/5/18 155pm
      NYRB vs NYCFC 334k ESPN Sat 5/5/18 355pm

      Week 11

      FCD vs LAG 395k UNI Sat 5/12/18 330pm
      Port vs Sea 231k ESPN Sun 5/13/18 400pm
      OCSC vs ATL UTD 285k FS1 Sun 5/13/18 600pm
      LAFC vs NYCFC 233k FS1 Sun 5/13/18 830pm

      Week 12

      ATL UTD vs NYRB FS1 176k Sun 5/20/18 700 pm
      CHI vs Houston UniMas 239k Sun 5/20/18 400 pm **
      Portland v LAFC FOX 465K Sat 5/19/18 300 pm

      Week 13

      SKC vs Columbus FS1 144k Sun 5/27/18 600 pm
      Hou vs NYCFC UniMas 281k Fri 5/25/18 855pm
      LAG vs San Jose UDN 328k Fri 5/25/18 1055pm**
      (No Unimas Number Reported for last double header game)

      Week 14

      Port vs LAG ESPN2 272k Sat 6/2/18 5 pm

      Week 15

      Columbus vs NYRB ESPN 292k Sat 6/9/18 5 pm

      Week 16

      ATL UTD vs Portland FOX 1.074M Sun 6/24/18 400 pm
      NYRB vs FC Dallas UniMas169K Sat 6/23/18 600 pm**

      Week 17

      SEA vs PORT FOX 1.159M Sat 6/30/18 430 pm
      ATL UTD vs OCSC ESPN 285K Sat 6/30/18 700 pm
      San Jose vs LAG UniMas 276 Sat 6/30/18 1000 pm
      Toronto FC vs NYRB FOX 1.109M Sun 7/1/18 505 pm

      Week 18

      LAFC vs OCFC FS1 127K Sat 7/7/18 1100pm
      NYCFC vs NYRB FS1 ??? Sun 7/8/18 700pm

      Week 19

      ATL UTD vs SEA FOX 1.558M Sun 7/15/18 200pm
      LAFC vs PORT ESPN 253k Sun 7/15/18 600pm

      Week 20

      ATL UTD vs DC United UNI 341K Sat 7/21/18 330pm

      Week 21

      OCFC vs NYCFC ESPN 176K Thur 7/26/18 800pm
      LAFC vs LAG ESPN 291K Thurs 7/26/18 1030pm
      SKC vs FC Dallas ESPN 211K Sat 7/28/18 900pm
      Seattle vs NYCFC ESPN 191K Sun 7/29/18 500pm
      LAG vs Orlando FS1 140K Sun 7/29/18 930pm

      Week 22

      ATL UTD vs Toronto ESPN 207k Sun 8/5/18 400pm
      NYRB vs LAFC FS1 ??? Sub 8/5/18 600pm

      Week 23

      Toronto FC vs NYRB ESPN ??? Sun 8/12/18 400pm
      DC United vs Orlando FS1 ??? Sun 8/12/18 800pm
      Seattle vs FC Dallas FS2 139k Sun 8/12/18 1000pm

      Week 24

      LAFC vs RSL ESPN2 119K Wed 8/15/18 100pm
      Seattle vs LA Galaxy ESPN 239K Sat 8/18/18 730pm
      DCU vs NE Revs FS1 ??? Sun 8/19/18 730pm

      Week 25

      NYCFC vs NYRB FS1 ??? Sun 8/22/18 700pm
      HOU vs FCD UniMas 244k Thurs 8/23/18 900pm
      OCFC vs ATL UTD ESPN 305k Fri 8/24/18 800pm
      LAG vs LAFC ESPN 257k Fri 8/24/18 1030pm
      Portland vs Seattle 235k Sun 8/26/18 930pm
      NYRB vs DC United 168k Sun 8/26/18 700pm

      Week 26

      Seattle vs Sporting KC UniMas 196k 9/1/18 Sat 400pm
      DCU vs ATL UTD FS1 155K Sun 730pm 9/2/18 Sun 730pm

      Week 27

      NYCFC vs DC United UniMas 377k 9/8/18 Sat 455pm
      Colorado vs ATL UTD UNI 290k 9/15/18 Sat 330pm

      Week 28

      Chicago vs OCSC FS1??? 9/16/18 Sun 500pm
      DCU vs NYRB ESPN 216k 9/16/18 Sun 100pm

      Total Network Average 317.8k
      Average ESPN Networks 253.8k
      Average Fox Networks 409.9k
      Average Univision Networks 289.8k

      All ratings are sourced from the below sites (Search MLS or Major League Soccer)

  4. Anthony

    September 22, 2018 at 6:56 am

    When does the Bundesliga contract expire? I can’t imagine Fox paying a dime to extend, but they probably should have some kind of weekly European football as long as they have the World Cup contract

    • Ritchie

      September 22, 2018 at 8:19 am

      Bundesliga deal with Fox ends in 2020.

    • Ritchie

      September 22, 2018 at 8:23 am

      …just in time for Fox to bid on La Liga, though Fox won’t have as many afternoon slots for games.

  5. Edwin

    September 21, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    1. Couple of things things there have been some solid MLS Spanish numbers, while ESPN and FS1 numbers have fluctuated from year to the year the Spanish Univison numbers have consistently risen each yr since 2014/15 when MLS TV deal took effect.

    2 . It appears the USMNT TV World Cup Blues has subsided, which has to be good news for FOX and ESPN.

    3, Smh but what’s going on with those Bundesliga numbers I understand the lack of interest among the English viewing audience and also domestic leagues in general drawing poorly on FS1/FS2 but only 13k, 19k and 90k for matches on Univsion Deportes Network featuring some big name German teams is shocking.

    4. Are there any carriage issues with Liga MX there was a handful of some low rated games for Liga MX that usually rate much higher like Pachuca/Tigres just 62k is that a complete number?

    5. Also I wonder if there will be a way over time to get viewing figures for ESPN+ games.

    • Jonathan Ramirez

      September 22, 2018 at 12:36 am

      Univision is in a carriage dispute with Dish and Sling. Univison is taking their marquee Liga MX games off their sports channel as that one is still on Dish, while their main channels (Univision, UniMas, ans Galavision) are still dark on Dish.

      • Edwin

        September 22, 2018 at 12:49 am

        Thanks is this affecting MLS on Dish as well I have Xfinity I thought the issue was resolved by now geez.

    • JP

      September 22, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Univision doing a great job this year but ESPN continues to disappoint.

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