By Paul Kennedy
Major Soccer League's debut on NBC was a ratings flop: Saturday's game between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders in the Cascadia Cup drew a 0.4 overnight rating, making it lowest overnight rating of the weekend for a live sporting event on network television, Sports Media Watch reported.
Even Sunday’s USA-Australia women’s friendly drew a higher rating: 0.5.
This is the first year of a three-year media rights agreement between MLS and NBC.
The partnership calls for 45 MLS games and four U.S. national team contests to be televised live across both NBC and NBC Sports Network each season.
Each season, NBC will broadcast two regular-season MLS games, two playoff games and two national team games. It marks the first time four MLS matches will be broadcast on English-language network television since 2002.
After a slow start, ratings have improved on NBC Sports Network.
After 27 regular-season games, MLS's ratings on NBC Sports Network were up 101 percent in average viewership compared to the 2011 regular-season average on Fox Soccer (137,000 vs. 68,000).
MONEY MATTERS. There was at least one piece of good news at Real Madrid, off to a terrible start to the 2012-13 La Liga season.
Real Madrid finished the 2011-12 fiscal year with income totaling $674. million, a 7 percent increase over the previous year and a world record for a sports club. Net earnings were down 23 percent to $31.7 million, though its indebtedness fell $59 million to $164 million.
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