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Most-watched soccer games on US TV for December 5-10, 2018

This past week saw eight soccer matches break 1 million viewers on television in the United States. It all started last Thursday evening with the first leg of the Liga MX Liguilla Semifinal between Pumas and Club América, which averaged 1.8 million viewers across Univision’s networks and tied with the reverse fixture three days later to close out the series and see Club América off to the Finals. The Liga MX Semifinals also saw a third match break a million as the second leg of the Cruz Azul/Monterrey series averaged 1.5 million viewers.

The MLS Cup Final between Atlanta United and Portland Timbers was the most-watched MLS Cup final since the inaugural edition on ABC in 1997. This year’s edition brought in 1.563 million viewers to FOX’s broadcast with 193,000 additional people watching on UniMás. This is even more impressive when you realize that the MLS Cup was in direct competition with the 2nd leg of the Liga MX Semifinal match between Cruz Azul and Monterrey (mentioned above).

Premier League numbers on NBC appear to be on the rise again as three consecutive weeks of growth culminated with the 1.1 million viewers for Saturday afternoon’s match between Chelsea and Manchester City. It was NBC’s first match to draw more than a million viewers in nearly three months with the last being the August 18 London Derby between Chelsea and Arsenal.

Telemundo and Universo’s coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw averaged 166,000 viewers, outperforming FS2’s live coverage by more than 10X.

Finally, the much-hyped Copa Libertadores Final reached its exciting conclusion on Sunday before a combined US Spanish-language audience of 1.15 million viewers shared between FOX Deportes and Telemundo.


112/6Liga MX Apertura LiguillaPumas / Club América Univision: 18000001,800,000
212/9Liga MX Apertura LiguillaClub América / Pumas Univision: 18000001,800,000
312/8MLS CupAtlanta United / Portland TimbersFOX: 1563000 / UniMás: 1930001,756,000
412/8Liga MX Apertura LiguillaCruz Azul / Monterrey Univision: 15000001,500,000
512/8Premier LeagueChelsea / Man CityNBC: 11060001,106,000
612/9Copa Libertadores FinalRiver Plate / Boca JuniorsFOXD: 519000 810001,100,000
712/5Liga MX Apertura LiguillaMonterrey / Cruz Azul FOXD: 825000825,000
812/8Premier LeagueMan Utd / FulhamNBCSN: 420000 / Universo: 26000446,000
912/8Premier LeagueLeicester City / SpursNBCSN: 374000374,000
1012/5Premier LeagueMan Utd / ArsenalNBCSN: 307000 / Universo: 32000327,000
1112/8Premier LeagueBournemouth / LiverpoolNBCSN: 311000311,000
1212/9Premier LeagueNewcastle / WolvesNBCSN: 267000267,000
1312/8Premier LeagueArsenal / HuddersfieldCNBC: 145000145,000
1412/10Premier LeagueEverton / WatfordNBCSN: 138000138,000
1512/7Serie AJuventus / Inter MilanESPN2: 105000105,000
1612/7FriendlyChivas Legends / Atlas Legends UDN: 9000090,000
1712/8BundesligaHertha / FrankfurtUDN: 4500045,000
1812/8BundesligaSchalke / DortmundUDN: 3400034,000
1912/9BundesligaMainz / Hannover UDN: 2500025,000

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

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  1. Azer

    December 16, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Fox Sports needs to bring back the Fox Soccer Channel. It is their only chance to acquire any leagues in my opinion. Even if Fox wins the La Liga rights which I doubt, most of the games will be relegated to FS2 & FS Plus in favor of NASCAR, college football etc., on FS1. As far as the Bundesliga it needs to stay on TV rather than some streaming platform.

    • Daniel

      December 19, 2018 at 11:47 am

      They do have Fox Soccer Plus. The only thing with that is, on my provider anyway (Verizon FIOS), it is not included in the sports package along with FS1 and FS2. You have to buy it as a standalone channel for $15 per month. When you consider that ESPN+ is $5 per month, and you get A LOT more for your money, we can’t justify paying for one standalone channel like that.

      • David

        December 19, 2018 at 12:28 pm

        I believe Fox Soccer Plus is a standalone channel you have to purchase on any provider including streaming. With hardly any content and constant replays, its hard to justify the $15 per month cost.

  2. Anthony

    December 16, 2018 at 8:44 am

    1) Pretty predictable that Premier Leage ratings increase on Saturday when the college football schedule winds down

    2) Bundesliga has to be considered a massive failure for Fox. They have to keep some kind of ongoing European soccer presence with World Cups owner for the next eight years. Do they go after La Liga? Premier League again?

  3. Gus Ortiz

    December 13, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    MLS Cup will getmuch higher ratings when played in late May when MLS switch to an autumn to spring with winter break calender.

  4. JP

    December 13, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Disappointing a Friday afternoon Juve/Inter match, massive fixture in Serie A, didn’t even get more viewers than a Monday afternoon Everton/Watford match.

    Would also be nice to see the ESPN+ numbers for Lazio/Sampdoria. That match had it all…best of the weekend.

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