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Copa Libertadores

Historic River-Boca final watched by 1.15 million viewers on US TV

Sunday’s second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores Final averaged 1.15 million viewers on U.S. television across FOX Deportes and Telemundo combined in an enthralling game that was won by River Plate 5-3 on aggregate against Boca Juniors.

FOX Sports had the US rights to the game in both English and Spanish, but in an interesting turn of events, FOX decided to broadcast the game on FOX Deportes and to also sub-license the rights to Telemundo, thus creating the rare chance of seeing one game on two completely separate Spanish-language networks. FOX Sports resisted the temptation to broadcast the game in English, which would have certainly given the broadcaster an additional ratings boost for a game that was the most-anticipated cup match of the weekend.

Featuring commentary by Andrés Cantor, the River-Boca game averaged 631,000 viewers on Telemundo while FOX Deportes averaged 519,000 viewers for a combined total of 1,150,000 viewers.

FOX Sports’ rights to Copa Libertadores on US TV have come to an end under the current rights cycle. The anticipation is building regarding who will win the rights for the next rights cycle. Could Telemundo acquire the rights given the interest they showed in the competition after they got permission from FOX Deportes to broadcast the second leg? Or will Univision Deportes or FOX Deportes try to steal their thunder?

SEE MORE: Schedule of Copa Libertadores games on US TV and streaming

Whoever gets the rights will be a winner given the increased interest in the competition this year courtesy of the two Argentine clubs as well as several exciting earlier stages in the competition.

River Plate now advances to the FIFA Club World Cup where, you guessed it, Telemundo has the Spanish-language rights to the competition.

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  1. Daniel

    December 11, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    No real reason other than money this was not on tv in english anywhere in the U.S.

  2. Monte

    December 11, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Also interesting is that MLS Cup Final had 1.5 during prime-time on Saturday evening and I’m pretty sure there was not any American Football games competing against it for viewership. River-Boca, went head to head with NFL games and got 1.15.

  3. Monte

    December 11, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    I watched on Telemundo, wished it was in English. I always thought beIN Sports would be a good provider for Copa Libertadores since they really do not have any live sports in the evenings and with their connect channels they could show all of the matches.

    • Juan

      December 12, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Fox Sports Latin America was able to retain the TV rights for Copa Libertadores through 2022, so more than likely they will stick with Fox in the US as well. Copa Sudamericana, on the other hand, will be shown by DirecTv in Latin America. Will be interesting to see what happens with it in the US,

  4. Curtis Williams

    December 11, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    I totally enjoyed Sunday’s Copa Lib 2nd leg via Fox Deportes. Although I’m not Latino, the match proved to exceed my expectations as a soccer fan. One major positive: both sets of fans behaved themselves from start to finish. By the way, this was the best Final I seen since the 05 Champions League Final between Liverpool and AC Milan. Please feel free to use my response as part of your mailbag section during the upcoming podcast. Thank you and Merry Christmas from Little Rock, Arkansas!

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