Despite an ugly timeslot, the MLS Cup suffered only a slight decline on ESPN.
Saturday’s Galaxy/Dynamo MLS Cup earned a 0.7 overnight rating on ESPN, down a tick from the same matchup last year (0.8), but up 40% from Rapids/F.C. Dallas in 2010 (0.5).
After three years airing on a Sunday night, this year’s MLS Cup took place on a Saturday afternoon. While the competition was weaker — the SEC Championship Game drew a 10.0 overnight, compared to a 14.0 for “Sunday Night Football” last year — the timeslot likely did not help matters.
This marks the seventh straight year that the MLS Cup has drawn less than 1% of U.S. metered market homes.
Locally, Saturday’s match drew a 1.41 rating in the Houston market — almost double what the Jazz/Rockets NBA game drew on Comcast SportsNet Houston later that night (0.74). It should be pointed out that CSN Houston is only available in 40% of Houston TV homes.
Head-to-head, the MLS Cup also outdrew the Boise State/Nevada college football game on ABC affiliate KTRK (1.35), but was crushed by the Alabama/Georgia SEC Championship Game on CBS affiliate KHOU (7.93).
Local numbers for the match in Los Angeles were not available.
(Saturday’s overnight and local Houston information from the Houston Chronicle)