Record Low Rating For 2010 MLS Cup

Posted by | November 24, 2010 at 2:59 AM

The 2010 MLS Cup sank to record lows on ESPN.

Sunday’s Rapids/FC Dallas MLS Cup earned a 0.44 U.S. rating and 748,000 viewers on ESPN, down 35% in ratings and 34% in viewership from last year (RSL/LA: 0.68, 1.141 mil, ESPN), and down 24% and 18%, respectively, from 2008 (CMB/NY: 0.58, 907,000, ABC).

This marks the lowest rated, least-viewed MLS Cup ever on English-language television. The MLS Cup has now failed to draw at least 1% of U.S. television households for nine straight years.

For some perspective, the MLS Cup finished with the same rating as the MLS All-Star Game on ESPN2 in July (0.44, 714,000).

According to the Associated Press, Sunday’s match also earned a 0.1 and 232,000 viewers on Galavision.

Even with the low numbers, the MLS Cup still outdrew ESPN’s two-game coverage of the 2010 WNBA Finals (0.36, 516,000). Additionally, the telecast drew more viewers than every IndyCar race and every NHL regular season game ever on Versus.

Ratings/Viewership For MLS Cup Since 1996










Year Date Match Net Rating Viewers (000)
2010 Sun., 11/21/10 Rapids/FC Dallas ESPN
0.4
748
2009 Sun., 11/22/09 Real Salt Lake/Galaxy ESPN
0.7
1,141
2008 Sun., 11/23/08 Crew/Red Bulls ABC
0.6
907
2007 Sun., 11/18/07 Dynamo/Revolution ABC
0.8
1,097
2006 Sun., 11/12/06 Revolution/Dynamo ABC
0.8
1,245
2005 Sun., 11/13/05 Galaxy/Revolution ABC
0.8
1,137
2004 Sun., 11/14/04 Wizards/United ABC
0.8
2003 Sun., 11/23/03 Fire/Earthquakes ABC
0.6
876
2002 Sun., 10/20/02 Revolution/Galaxy ABC
0.8
1,169
2001 Sun., 10/21/01 Galaxy/Earthquakes ABC
1.0
2000 Sun., 10/15/00 Fire/Wizards ABC
0.7
1999 Sun., 11/21/99 United/Galaxy ABC
0.7
1998 Sun., 10/25/98 Fire/United ABC
1.0
1997 Sun., 10/26/97 Rapids/United ABC
1.4
1996 Sun., 10/20/96 United/Galaxy ABC
1.4

(Ratings/viewership from ESPN; additional information from Associated Press via USA Today)

  • Patrick Batty

    I would attest this low rating to having two of the least viewed / attended teams in the league making the final. Nothing more than that.