Wrexham A.F.C. has experienced a boom in attention since the club was bought by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in late 2020. The FX docuseries Welcome to Wrexham also helped bring the story of the relatively small Welsh team to light. Despite currently playing in the fifth tier of English soccer, Wrexham games have essentially become must-watch for many soccer fans Stateside.
Popularity in Wrexham, thanks to a Cinderella FA Cup run, encouraged ESPN to broadcast Wrexham’s latest match on ESPN2. The game was a fourth round replay in the tournament on Tuesday. While the Welsh side were knocked out of the competition, many fans tuned in. In fact, the match averaged 139,000 viewers throughout the 90 minutes on ESPN2.
This figure does not include ESPN+ users. The streaming service is typically a go-to for sports fans during midweek work hours. Combining the two ways to watch the game, viewership would be in the same ball park as other soccer leagues. This would include Major League Soccer, Germany’s Bundesliga, as well as USWNT friendlies. It’s also worth remembering that the Wrexham game was played on a Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. ET. That is not the ideal time for viewership in the United States.
Sports network reports huge interest in Wrexham match
Sheffield United-Wrexham was the most followed soccer match content by users on the ESPN website between February 1-7, according to an ESPN spokesperson. Other matches played during this timeframe include major clashes: Chelsea vs Fulham, Arsenal vs Everton, Manchester United vs Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City. By soccer match content, ESPN refers to its box scores, gamecasts and other forms of media on the website.
In fact, Tuesday’s game between Sheffield United and Wrexham was the fourth-most followed soccer match on the ESPN app. Only Barcelona vs Sevilla, Betis vs Barcelona and Tottenham vs Manchester City managed to edge Wrexham.
Welcome to Wrexham streams hold high throughout Fall months
Along with the actual games, the aforementioned docuseries Welcome to Wrexham has certainly helped fuel this mania. According to Reelgood, the series experienced 79 times more playbacks and interactions last August compared to the average show on Hulu during this timeframe.
The Wrexham show even held firm in viewership figures during the months following its release. In fact, from August through November, Welcome to Wrexham always had more than at least 10 times more playbacks and interactions than the average TV show on Hulu.
FA Cup, documentary and success launch Wrexham popularity
Wrexham has also revealed statistics on just how much the club has grown since the new ownership took over. The club claims that their official Twitter account has risen from 79,589 followers in February of 2021 to 367,665 now. Their follower count on Instagram has sky rocketed from 41,000 two years ago to 434,316 at current date.
Team Jerseys have been sold out for much of the current campaign. Wrexham has reported that they have sold an incredible 24,000 shirts during the season. It was revealed in October that Wrexham jerseys were being resold for insane prices.
While they have been knocked out of the FA Cup, promotion to League Two is obviously Wrexham’s goal. They are currently second in the National League, three points behind league-leading Notts County. However, Wrexham has played two fewer matches than the leaders. Fans can stream National League matches by visiting the club’s website or joining National League TV.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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