[SOCCER ON THE AIR] Through the first four weeks of the MLS season, the average audiences for its games on NBCSN are up 76 percent from last year's average for four games and 115 percent from the 2012 average to an average of 209,500 viewers a game.
The opening day match -- Seattle-Sporting KC -- averaged 330,000 viewers, the most for an MLS game on NBCSN outside the 2012 London Olympics window when MLS games on NBCSN received huge boosts because of Olympic lead-ins. The 2014 opener followed a Chelsea EPL match on NBCSN.
The four-week average doesn't include the Week 5 match between Portland and Seattle that should draw right around the season average. It didn't have the benefit of an EPL match as a direct lead-in on NBCSN. The 12:30 p.m. the Chelsea game was on NBC. But its wild start should have kept some viewers and its end-to-end drama drawn in other viewers.
NBC is in the third and final deal of its current contract with MLS, whose numbers are still a fraction of what NBCSN is drawing for its EPL coverage. Five EPL matches last week averaged more than 500,000 viewers on NBCSN. Three had weekend morning kickoffs and a fourth had a midweek afternoon kickoff.
MLS on NBCSN: First Four Games (2014)
330,000 Seattle-Sporting KC (March 8)
171,000 Seattle-Toronto FC (March 15)
180,000 Real Salt Lake-LA Galaxy (March 22)
157,000 D.C. United-Chicago (March 29)
MLS on NBCSN: First Four Games (2013)
107,000 Houston-D.C. United (March 2)
79,000 Chicago-New England (March 9)
82,000Sporting KC-Chicago (March 16)
209.000 Seattle-Portland (March 23)
MLS on NBCSN: First Four Games (2012)
82,000 FC Dallas-New York (March 11)
124,000 Philadelphia-Colorado (March 18)
107,000 Seattle-Houston (March 23)
76,000 D.C. United-FC Dallas (March 30)