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)