MLS TV Ratings: Strong showing from weekend tilts

Gail Oskin

This past weekend's MLS national TV ratings are out, and relative to MLS they look quite healthy:

The Confederations Cup bump following Spain vs. Nigeria proved effective for ESPN, and NBC Sports didn't do too bad either. It shouldn't be surprising that MLS' two best rated matches this year were shown on ESPN not ESPN2 (ESPN has more carriage that ESPN2) after big international matches. The two ESPN matches this year are:

POR v. DAL [6/15/2013] 262k
PHI v. NY [6/23/2013] 323k

NBC Sports has broadcast many more matches than ESPN and ESPN2, and last Sunday's was one of several that cracked the 100k barrier. Those matches are:

3/2/2013 HOU v DC 107k
3/16/2013 SEA v POR 209k
3/30/2013 NY v PHI 100k
4/14/2013 POR v SJ 108k
5/4/2013 COL v NY 122k
6/8/2013 SEA v VAN 149k
6/23/2013 POR v COL 133k

The clear trend is that the Cascadia Cup matches are good for NBC Sports. New York, Seattle, and Portland are the clubs that appear more than once on the list. It should be noted that ESPN2 has not had a match drawing less than 100k, which more than half of NBC Sports' broadcasts are below that line.

Hopeful the ratings ESPN is getting from the post-Confederations Cup MLS matches encourages ESPN to switch over a few from ESPN2 in the coming weeks. After July 7th, ESPN isn't scheduled to broadcast MLS until the playoff push in the last week of September. Even the All Star Game is currently scheduled for ESPN2.
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