The numbers are in for the Lionel Messi debut in MLS at Inter Miami. The game was watched by an audience of 1.75 million people across Spanish-language television in the United States.

Friday night’s Inter Miami versus Cruz Azul game was televised across Univision and TUDN. While the viewing number doesn’t include how many watched the game on MLS Season Pass in English- or Spanish-language, the TV broadcast is still the most-watched MLS telecast in Spanish-language history.

Messi’s MLS debut for Inter Miami is also the fifth most-watched MLS telecast in the league’s 27-year history. Based on the promising start to Messi in MLS, the league may be hoping to break more records. Currently, the top five most-watched games in their TV history are:

1997: MLS Cup Final, ABC, 2.2 million
1996: MLS Cup Final, ABC, 2.1 million
2004: DC United vs San Jose (Freddy Adu debut), ABC, 2.0 million
2021: Thanksgiving Day game, FOX, 1.9 million

Our Pick:

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Messi debut for Inter Miami

Major League Soccer and Apple are not releasing any details about viewing numbers for Messi’s debut on MLS Season Pass. However, reports this week indicate that the streaming service is approaching one million subscribers.

Certainly, interest in Messi playing at Inter Miami is going to generate more subscribers to the streaming service. In particular, if Messi can continue to dazzle viewers with goals like the 94th minute one he scored last week, the only way is up for MLS, Inter Miami and Messi.

Miami defeated Cruz Azul 2-1 in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 22,000. Celebrities at the game included LeBron James, David Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Selena Williams, among others.

The next test for MLS, Lionel Messi and Inter Miami is Tuesday night’s Leagues Cup game against Atlanta United.

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Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire