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.
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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.
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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.