Major League Soccer did not attract big numbers in its return to broadcast television. In other news, Major League Baseball scored a big increase on FOX last week, while ESPNU set a record for college football coverage.
- Nearly 600K For NBC’s MLS Debut: NBC earned a 0.4 final rating and 576,000 viewers for last Saturday’s Sounders/Timbers Major League Soccer match, the first MLS telecast ever on the network. By comparison, the last MLS regular season telecast on broadcast TV — a June 2008 Galaxy/United match on ABC prior to the Euro 2008 final — drew a 0.9 and 1.2 million viewers. Sounders/Timbers was outdrawn by Sunday’s United States/Australia women’s soccer friendly, also on NBC (0.5, 667K). (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)
- Big Increase For MLB on FOX: Regional Major League Baseball action featuring Rays/Yankees drew a 1.6 final rating on FOX last Saturday afternoon, up 45% from coverage featuring Twins/Tigers last year (1.1), and up 14% from coverage featuring Braves/Mets in 2010 (1.4). (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)
- ESPNU Has Best Noon ET College Football Game: Last Saturday’s Virginia Tech/Pittsburgh college football game drew 679,000 viewers on ESPNU, the largest audience ever for a Noon ET college football game on the network. Through week three of the season, college football games averaged 511,000 viewers on ESPNU, up 2% from last year (500k). (ESPN Media Zone)