MLS TV ratings: Fixture stability breeds ratings consistency

USA TODAY Sports

Two months into the MLS season, and TV ratings are consistent for NBC Sports. ESPN hasn't jumped into the MLS pool yet, and while it's assumed UniMas has the best numbers for MLS they're a bit harder to find.

Two months into the MLS season, and TV ratings are consistent for NBC Sports. ESPN hasn't jumped into the MLS pool yet, and while it's assumed UniMas has the best numbers for MLS they're a bit harder to find. We can show you just how good UniMas has done with their Liga MX coverage.

Date Duration Household rating Persons 2+(000)
Mar 16th 151 0.1 171
Mar 22nd 150 0.1 180
Mar 29th 150 0.1 157
Apr 5th 150 0.2 277
Apr 19th 150 0.1 171

That chart shows the ratings for MLS matches on NBC Sports. The consistency you see in ratings is something that MLS didn't have last season, and there is a direct correlation between ratings stability and a consistent time slot. All five of those matches kicked off at the same time, directly after NBC Sports' English Premier League coverage. The first six MLS matches on NBC Sports were planned with EPL lead-ins. The one spike in the ratings was the 4-4 rivalry thriller between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders.

After the EPL season closes in May, NBC Sports is going to switch to a Friday night slot from June 27th to October 24th. NBC Sports is also going to break out the whip-around show on August 2nd after the World Cup, so those are two big moments to see how the ratings change.

ESPN will broadcast four MLS matches this season, beginning with a July 6th tilt between Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire. Most MLS will be shown on ESPN2, which starts their coverage later this month with a SKC - New York Red Bulls match that they're pairing with a USMNT friendly against Azerbaijan.

As for UniMas, individual MLS ratings were unavailable. There was a press release for their first quarter which showed how well soccer can perform on their network. 2.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the Super Clasico between America and Guadalajara, 1.5 million adults in the key demo.

To show it's not just Clasico's pulling those numbers on Spanish television, a Telemundo broadcast last week of a Leon match cracked the top 25 Spanish language programs with a 1.7 rating in the Spanish speaking key demo. To show how different ratings are when the size of the pool is altered, that 1.7 rating was achieved with 400k viewers.

Even if MLS isn't hitting 400k on UniMas, it's likely somewhere in that space between there and the best NBC Sports broadcast.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join LAG Confidential

You must be a member of LAG Confidential to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at LAG Confidential. You should read them.

Join LAG Confidential

You must be a member of LAG Confidential to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at LAG Confidential. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker