TV viewership in the United States for all soccer competitions in 2022 is now available. Specifically, regarding club competitions, there was a diverse array of competitions people in the United States watched. It is worth noting that the rankings of the soccer competitions on US TV do not include the 2022 FIFA World Cup. During the 2022 World Cup Final, 16,783,000 viewers tuned in on FOX. Yet, that number also includes FOX’s streaming platforms.
Before that winter World Cup, club competitions pulled in large audiences. CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Telemundo broadcasted games from different competitions. Whether it be European games or North American leagues or even men’s leagues vs women’s competitions, there were several key differences in the most-watched soccer competitions on US TV.
The UEFA Champions League averaged the most viewers when it aired on CBS. Liga MX and the Premier League, unsurprisingly, also had massive audiences during games on Telemundo and NBC, respectively. However, the bottom of the list featured ABC’s coverage of the Bundesliga and Major League Soccer.
Helltown Beer assembled the 2022 TV broadcast viewership. These figures do not include games simultaneously available on streaming. For example, the UEFA Champions League Final also aired on Paramount+.
The most-watched soccer competitions on US TV last year
The following figures are the average viewership for those competitions in 2022 on the associated TV channel.
- UEFA Champions League (CBS) — 964,000
- Liga MX (Univision and Telemundo) — 964,000
- English Premier League (NBC) — 818,000
- Major League Soccer (FOX) — 595,000
- LaLiga (ABC) — 490,000
- National Women’s Soccer League (CBS) — 489,000
- FA Women’s Super League (NBC) — 484,000
- Bundesliga (ABC) — 474,000
- Major League Soccer (ABC) — 473,000
Now, you may ask yourself about the difference between FOX and ABC’s coverage of Major League Soccer. ABC carried 10 Major League Soccer games on ABC in 2022. By comparison, 34. Therefore, FOX established itself as more of a home for Major League Soccer in 2022. Perhaps that explains why FOX retained some of the MLS rights for TV broadcasting when Apple became the streaming home of the league in 2023.
As stated, it is no surprise to see Liga MX and the Premier League so high on this list. Those two competitions established themselves as the most popular among American audiences. Yet, CBS will see these statistics as a major success. The UEFA Champions League on CBS has been a hit both on streaming and traditional TV broadcasts. In 2022, CBS broke the record for the most-watched UEFA Champions League Final for American audiences. In 2022, 2.761 million watched Real Madrid defeat Liverpool.
How may this change in 2023?
Clear-cut information regarding the 2023 TV viewership of soccer competitions is not so easy to come by. However, it is already known this list will change. For example, ABC does not broadcast Major League Soccer games anymore. Also, each MLS game on FOX is available on MLS Season Pass from Apple.
CBS has continued to put UEFA Champions League games on its linear network. The knockout-stage viewership in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League was up. Yet, the audience for the Final between Manchester City and Inter Milan was down compared to 2022.
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