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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for September 18-23, 2018

September 19th’s Campeones Cup match between Toronto FC and Tigres UANL averaged a combined 1.2 million viewers, with Univision contributing 1.1 million viewers to the total and ESPN2 providing an additional 101,000 viewers. Tigres’ 3-1 victory over Toronto FC currently ranks as the second most-watched club soccer match in the United States since the conclusion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Early UEFA Champions League viewership numbers are looking great for Univision, Champions League matches on their networks are averaging 551,250 viewers through the first four broadcast windows with viewership peaking at 762,000 for the Tuesday September 18 late kickoff with 672,000 of those watching Liverpool’s victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Univision. TNT contributed an additional 330,000 viewers for the Liverpool-PSG match, giving it a total average viewership of just over 1 million viewers. No UEFA Champions League match outside of the final drew 1 million viewers last season.

Ratings for NBC’s Saturday Premier League games aired between 12:30-2:30pm ET are in decline for the third consecutive week as last Saturday afternoon’s Brighton-Spurs match saw the league’s lowest viewership on the network so far this season at just 754,000 viewers. Through six matches, the Premier League on NBC is averaging 854,667 viewers, up a slight 2% from the first six matches of last season.

Here are the most-watched soccer games on US TV for September 18-23, 2018:

RankDateCompetitionTeamsTV1Total
19/19Campeones CupToronto FC / TigresESPN2: 101000 / Univision: 11000001,201,000
29/18UEFA Champions LeagueLiverpool / PSGTNT: 330000 / Univision: 6720001,002,000
39/22Premier LeagueBrighton / SpursNBC: 754000 / Unvso: 36000790,000
49/18UEFA Champions LeagueBarcelona / PSV EindhovenTNT: 164000 / Univision: 618000782,000
59/19UEFA Champions LeagueReal Madrid / RomaTNT: 235000 / Univision: 491000726,000
69/23Premier LeagueArsenal / EvertonNBCSN: 401000 / Telemundo: 238000639,000
79/23Liga MXTigres / MonterreyUniMás: 625000625,000
89/21Liga MXPuebla / AméricaUDN: 555000555,000
99/22Premier LeagueLiverpool / SouthamptonNBCSN: 408000 / Unvso: 40000448,000
109/23Liga MXSantos / VeracruzUniMás: 407000407,000
119/22Liga MXCruz Azul / AtlasUDN: 403000403,000
129/23Premier LeagueWest Ham / ChelseaNBCSN: 292000 / Telemundo: 85000377,000
139/22Liga MXLeón / LobosUDN: 370000370,000
149/23Liga MXChivas / QuerétaroUniMás: 304000304,000
159/22MLSLos Angeles FC / San Jose EarthquakesUnivision/UDN: 30300303,000
169/21Liga MXMorelia / Pumas UDN: 255000255,000
179/19MLSSan Jose Earthquakes / Atlanta UnitedUniMás: 115000 / UDN: 131000246,000
189/23MLSLA Galaxy / Seattle SoundersFS1: 133000 / FOXD: 78000211,000
199/22Liga MXToluca / Necaxa UDN: 208000208,000
209/23MLSPhiladelphia Union / Sporting Kansas CityESPN: 184000184,000
219/22Premier LeagueFulham / WatfordNBCSN: 175000175,000
229/22BundesligaSchalke / BayernUDN: 153000153,000
239/19UEFA Champions LeagueValencia / JuventusUniMás: 136000136,000
249/19UEFA Champions LeagueAjax / AthensUniMás: 112000112,000
259/22Liga MXTijuana / Pachuca FOXD: 9400094,000
269/18UEFA Champions LeagueMonaco / Atlético MadridUniMás: 8000080,000
279/20UEFA Europa LeagueArsenal / VorsklaUniMás: 6800068,000
289/23La LigaBarcelona / GironabeIN: 6200062,000
299/20CONCACAF LeagueTauro / Motagua UDN: 5500055,000
309/20UEFA Europa LeaguePAOK / ChelseaUniMás: 5100051,000
319/20UEFA Europa LeagueVillarreal / Rangers UDN: 4800048,000
329/20CONCACAF LeagueHerediano / Árabe Unido UDN: 4000040,000
339/19UEFA Champions LeagueMan City / Lyon Gala: 3800038,000
349/20UEFA Europa LeagueDudelange / Milan UDN: 3300033,000
359/19UEFA Champions LeagueShakhtar / Hoffenheim Gala: 2800028,000
369/20UEFA Europa LeagueSevilla / Liège Gala: 2800028,000
379/22BundesligaHoffenheim / DortmundUDN: 2700027,000
389/20UEFA Europa LeagueOlympiackos Piraeus / Real Betis Gala: 2600026,000
399/18UEFA Champions LeagueInter Milan / Spurs Gala: 2000020,000
409/21BundesligaStuttgart / DüsseldorfUDN: 1900019,000
419/18UEFA Champions LeagueSchalke / Porto Gala: 1000010,000

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

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Eddy

    October 18, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Collin/Chris when will you be releasing new TV ratings list on here? I’ve heard the few you’ve mentioned in the podcast for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been frequenting the site hoping you’d have numbers up by now.

  2. DG

    October 2, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Is there a reason why Fox Sports is not posting its numbers for the Bundesliga?

    • Christopher Harris

      October 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      The numbers are so low that they’re not registering in the top 150 programs that are shown on television on the days when the Bundesliga is on TV. We have had some Bundesliga numbers in previous weeks though (see https://worldsoccertalk.com/category/tv-ratings/ columns from previous weeks).

      We’ve asked FOX if they’d like to share some of their numbers, but they’re reluctant to unfortunately.

  3. JP

    October 2, 2018 at 7:52 am

    The TFC/Tigres games marks the 6th time in 2018 that viewership exceeded 1,000,000 with an MLS team involved. 2 of those games were an MLS/Liga MX matchup while the other 4 were MLS regular season games that piggybacked off a World Cup game on FOX.

  4. Todd

    October 1, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I agree I think 750-850k is realistic for NBC for the time frame, they moved up Sunday starts times for a later start on NBC this year? The late start times should boost TV numbers, not looking to have had that effect. Hopefully that trend gets reversed.

  5. JP

    October 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    The time of day is an overlooked factor. The older I get the more I want my sports on early and beginning to despise late night football games and the creeping towards 9PM EST start times for playoffs in the NBA for games on the east coast.

    One of the big reasons I love watching soccer, besides the game itself, is that even the ‘prime time’ matches are over by 5PM our time and there’s something to watch on a lazy Saturday/Sunday morning (or afternoon at work on UCL weeks).

  6. Trip

    October 1, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    How are the ratings going down, yet at the same time you say “up a slight 2% from the first six matches of last season.”

    Also, there must be a cap to what the viewership will be, west coast (unless you are a die hard fan) won’t be causally turning in. My brother-in-law became a fan and starting watching and following because “I’m up early with a kid, it’s the only thing on.” It seems that an audience of 750k-850k is probably the cap, unless it’s a marquee team.

    • Collin Werner

      October 12, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      I think your confusion comes from the fact that overall Premier League ratings on NBC networks are down this year but the Premier League matches on the NBC Broadcast Network are up 2% from last season.

  7. Eddy

    September 30, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Serie A figures for ESPN are available. It’s just that the numbers have been too low to register unfortunately. Neislen tracks ESPN News and has done so since Apr of this year see links below notice ESPN NEWS reported an WNBA playoff game that registered a reportable viewing figure. ESPN News is in about 62 mil + households.

    http://awfulannouncing.com/espn/august-cable-coverage-estimates-drops-for-espn-nbcsn-fs1-btn-espnu.html

    http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-friday-cable-originals-network-finals-9-7-2018.html
    122 WNBA PLAYOFFS L ESPNEWS 9:01 PM 118 0.05 226

  8. Michael

    September 30, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    I wonder why the decline in EPL numbers is football having an impact.

  9. JP

    September 30, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Are Serie A figures available anywhere? Know most have been shown on ESPNews and they supposedly can’t track it, but what about ESPN Deportes or RAI?

    Should also be a way to know how many on ESPN+ have chosen a stream of a particular match, since you mentioned they are using the subscriber behavior to customize what they show most prominently within the app to each user.

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