Soccer Update: Sunday’s Taped EPL on FOX Trounces Saturday’s Live MLS on NBC


Soccer got exposure on two of the four major broadcast networks over the weekend, with the English Premier League easily topping Major League Soccer.

Tape-delayed coverage of the Manchester United/Newcastle English Premier League match drew a 1.1 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon, flat compared to the network’s second EPL telecast last year, between Tottenham and Arsenal (1.1).

Depending on the market, the match either aired at 2:30 PM ET (before NFL coverage) or 4:30 PM ET (after NFL coverage).

One day earlier, NBC drew a much less impressive 0.4 overnight for a Fire/Red Bulls Major League Soccer match — flat compared to the network’s inaugural MLS telecast last month, between the Sounders and Timbers (0.4).

While Sunday’s EPL match had a lead-in from NFL coverage in most of the country (only 25% of markets received a 4:00 PM ET NFL game this week), Saturday’s MLS coverage had a much weaker lead-in from a “Red Bull Signature Series” action sports telecast.

It should be pointed out that Saturday’s weak lead-in still drew a higher overnight (0.5) than the MLS match. Excluding studio coverage, the MLS match tied Game 2 of the Lynx/Sparks WNBA Western Conference Finals on ABC (0.4) as the second-lowest rated sports program of the weekend on broadcast.

The weekend’s lowest rated program in the metered markets was tape-delayed coverage of the UCI Road Cycling World Championships on NBC (0.3).

(Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)