SBD/Issue 34/Sports Media

MLS Sees Game Viewership Decline On ESPN2; FSC Audience Flat

ESPN2 averaged 249,000 viewers for its 25 MLS game telecasts this season, down 12.3% from the net's 284,000 average viewers for 24 telecasts last season. It is also down 1.6% from 253,000 viewers for 25 telecasts in '08. The majority of this season's telecasts were slotted for Thursday night in primetime, compared to the '09 season, during which MLS games aired on various days and only had seven Thursday telecasts. The '08 season also featured a primarily Thursday night schedule of games. The league's most-viewed ESPN2 telecast this season was the July 4 Sounders FC-Galaxy match -- a Sunday night telecast that was added after the World Cup to capitalize on Galaxy F Landon Donovan's first game back in the league. Meanwhile, Fox Soccer Channel -- whose MLS telecasts aired primarily on Saturday nights -- saw its slate of 31 matches average 53,000 viewers this season, flat with last season. The net's Galaxy-Red Bulls match on August 14, which marked the first game for Red Bulls MF Rafael Marquez, was FSC's most-viewed game telecast this season with 144,000 viewers. Viewership figures for games on ESPN Deportes and Univision were unavailable at presstime.

MLS REGULAR-SEASON VIEWERSHIP ON ESPN2
YEAR
TELECASTS
VIEWERS (000)
'10
25
249
'09
24
284
'08
25
253
MLS REGULAR-SEASON VIEWERSHIP ON FSC
YEAR
TELECASTS
VIEWERS (000)
'10
31
53
'09
34
53


NOTE
: Figures include intra-MLS matches only. All friendlies excluded.

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