The general viewing public is about to get a huge dose of soccer with NBC showing two live soccer matches this weekend. That's right, two real life soccer matches on over the air television on a weekend, going up against NFL, and NCAA football, and probably NASCAR.
Saturday's match is the 9:30 am Pacific Time broadcast of Swansea City vs. Arsenal. Arsenal have come out swinging and sit top of the table level with Tottenham on points. Spurs kick off the day's slate at 4:45 in the morning in a London Derby with Chelsea on NBC Sports. In between, Aston Villa will take on Manchester City also on NBC Sports.
Sunday's NBC match is of the MLS variety with the Portland Timbers hosting the LA Galaxy at 12:30 Pacific. There are two Premier League match-ups on NBC Sports earlier in the day, and hopefully the MLS match will get tons of ad time.
MLS on TV: NBCSN's Seattle-LA had 247K viewers. Portland-Colorado had 131K viewers.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) September 24, 2013
Real solid rating (relative to NBC Sports) for Seattle-LA in the Saturday night slot. Once again, it was a standard 7:30 West Coast time broadcast meaning those on the East Coast had to wait until almost 11:00pm for kickoff. It's being written about with some frequency these days, but MLS needs to be more flexible for broadcasters. Even non-NFL fans know that there will be an NBC broadcast of the NFL starting at 8 Eastern every Sunday night, no matter if it's in Seattle or New York. Thus far, the broadcasters have had to accept MLS' schedule and not the other way around.
Top NBCSN show: Sunday's Man City v Man United (852K viewers). Top FS1 show: Saturday night UFC averaged 722K viewers.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) September 24, 2013
The Manchester Derby beat out primetime UFC, that's pretty dang cool. Also keep in mind that the solid rating for Galaxy-Sounders was directly against UFC. It was a good weekend for soccer on television.