[SOCCER ON THE AIR] Just how strong the impact of Olympic coverage on NBCSN is on other programming was evident by the viewership for the same-day replay of the Feb. 8 Liverpool-Arsenal Premier League match that drew the network's third largest audience of the season.
The first weekend of Olympic coverage required NBC to clear its usual staple of Saturday morning coverage of the EPL, moving games to the USA Network.
When the Liverpool-Arsenal game -- a 5-1 win for the Reds -- re-aired in the afternoon, Premier League Encore averaged 840,000 viewers, the third largest audience after Chelsea-Man. United (1,019,000) and Man. United-Man. City (852,000). Premier League Encore the next day averaged 736,000 viewers.
NBCSN's MLS coverage during its first season got a boost as games that followed its 2012 Summer Olympic coverage got huge bumps because the Olympic lead-ins. Benefiting from the lead-ins of Olympic coverage, the five MLS games averaged 286,000 viewers. It averaged 122,000 viewers for the 2012 regular season. The average viewership for NBCSN's MLS coverage (without the Olympic lead-ins) dropped 8 percent to 112,000 in 2013.
There was no Olympic-EPL conflict this past weekend as the EPL was off for the FA Cup, which airs on Fox. The EPL resumes on NBCSN this weekend with Chelsea-Everton at 7:45 a.m. ET. (The Arsenal-Sunderland will air on USA at 10 a.m. ET).