ManU-Arsenal Earns 0.9 Overnight For First-Ever Live EPL Match On Broadcast TV
Fox earned a 0.9 overnight for the Manchester United-Arsenal match on Sunday from 11:00am-1:00pm, which marked the first-ever live EPL match on U.S. broadcast TV. Fox aired several tape-delayed EPL matches in the fall during Sundays in which in aired an NFL singleheader. Fox earned a 1.2 overnight for its first EPL match on Sept. 18, which featured Chelsea-ManU. The net also earned a 1.1 overnight for Arsenal-Tottenham Hotspur on Oct. 2 and a 1.5 rating for Chelsea-Liverpool on Nov. 20 (THE DAILY). In Tampa Bay, Tom Jones writes the broadcast "was good, although I wasn't crazy that CNN host and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan was involved." Jones: "It made it feel a bit gimmicky, but it didn't ruin the broadcast" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/23). SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote on his Twitter account, "With the same fervor I believe celeb fans such as Piers Morgan should not appear on a broadcast, Martin Tyler is pure joy as a gamecaller." Deadspin's Timothy Burke wrote, "Piers Morgan is in my Fox soccer coverage? I guess he felt like making broadcasts terrible on multiple networks."
MAKING INTRODUCTIONS: Fox’ Rob Stone began the broadcast by noting yesterday was a "historic day for soccer here in the States -- the first time on an American television network, the Barclays Premier League is live.” The pregame show featured Stone, Morgan and Eric Wynalda, with Morgan saying he has been an Arsenal season-ticket holder for 26 years. Morgan: “I’ve actually backed them longer than Eric has existed.” Stone replied, “We will have no reality show judging, no interviews of former presidents, no primary conversations for you right now. Strictly keep your focus on soccer.” Morgan: “It will not be difficult. This is a massive game for Arsenal” (Fox, 1/22).