Most-watched MLS Cup Finals of all-time on US TV

Photo credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Given the impressive viewing number for the 2018 MLS Cup Final, how does it compare to previous MLS Cup Finals that have aired in English-language on US television?

With the over-the-air FOX network being available in approximately 115 million homes in the United States, Major League Soccer’s decision to televise games on that channel in 2016 and 2018 is paying dividends as can be evidenced below. The network is in far more homes than ESPN (87 million homes).

The viewing number for the 2018 MLS Cup Final does mask what has been largely been a disappointing year for the league’s TV ratings. For the 2018 regular season, viewing numbers were down on both ESPN and FS1. While the viewing numbers were up for the over-the-air FOX network, it was only because they aired the games immediately after World Cup matches when TV sets were left on. On the Spanish-language side, ratings were way up on Univision Deportes, which helped boost the overall numbers.

Here are the most-watched MLS Cup Finals of all-time on US TV:

NETWORKVIEWERSHIPYEAR
1ABC2,200,0001997
2FOX1,563,0002018
3FOX1,411,0002016
4ABC1,330,0001996
5ABC1,245,0002006
6ABC1,169,0002002
7ESPN1,141,0002009
8ABC1,137,0002005
9ABC1,097,0002007
10ABC1,031,0002001
11ESPN964,0002014
12ABC907,0002008
13ABC876,0002003
14ABC840,0002004
15ESPN803,0002017
16ESPN797,0002012
17ESPN748,0002010
18ESPN668,0002015
19ESPN505,0002013
20ABCN/A2000
21ABCN/A1999
22ABCN/A1998
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