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Good and bad news for soccer
by Paul Kennedy, November 24th, 2010 12:12AM
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TAGS:  mls, world cup


[TELEVISION WATCH] The good news is that the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands drew almost 10 million more viewers than the final game of the 2010 World Series. On the other hand, the combined audience for MLS Cup 2010 on ESPN and Galavision was less than one-eighth the audience for the final game of the Stanley Cup hockey finals on NBC. For a look at the viewerships of the finals of 2010's major sporting events ...

2010 Super Bowl
106,500,000 million viewers (CBS)
Note: The Saints-Colts game was most-watched television show in history, beating out the final episode of "M*A*S*H" in 1983.

2010 NBA finals (Game 7)
28,200,000 million viewers (ABC)
Note: Game 7 between Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles  Lakers and the Boston Celtics was the most-watched NBA game since Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to their sixth championship over the Utah Jazz in 1998.

2010 World Cup final
15,545,000 viewers (ABC)
8,821,000 viewers (Univision)
24,366,000 viewers (Total)
Note: The game was the most-watched World Cup game ever on ABC and the most-watched final on Univision.

2010 Masters golf tournament (Day 4)
17,100,000 viewers (CBS)
Note: The golf tournament ended on Sunday with a three-way sudden-death playoff.

2010 World Series (Game 5)
14,950,000 million (FOX)
Note: The San Francisco-Texas game was the least-watched deciding game in World Series history.

2010 Stanley Cup (Game 6)
8,280,000 viewers (NBC)
Note: Game 6 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers was the most-watched NHL game in 36 years.

2010 U.S. Open men's tennis final
2,170,000 viewers (CBS and ESPN2)
The match was pushed from Sunday to Monday because of rain and then delays forced the broadcast of Rafael Nadal's four-set win over Novak Djokovic to move from CBS to ESPN2.

MLS Cup 2010
748,000 (ESPN)
232,000 (Galavision)
980,000 (Total)
Note: The record low for viewers was 876,000 for MLS Cup 2003 between San Jose and Chicago.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: November 24, 2010 at 8:17 a.m.
    Overall, the MLS needs a better product on the field as well as sellable stars in the final. Also, season should align with the rest of the world and finals should be played before summer begins. A Sunday night final in the middle of NFL season competing with Sunday night football. Gee, why no ratings? Also, I'll bet most soccer purists watched their own homeland teams on Sunday.
  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: November 24, 2010 at 8:52 a.m.
    Sorry, this lame reasoning that soccer "purists" have been spewing for 15 years is absurd. The ratings have nothing to do with the product on the field. If Pele & George Best had been playing Sunday the ratings would still be terrible. You have 2 small tv market teams, with limited fan bases, playing against NFL football. Most US sports fans are casual fans, they are not doing lineup evaluations to decide what to watch. We are not Europe and will never be Europe, so STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT. MLS quality of play, in the opinion of many experts, is on par with the Mexican league, Dutch league and 1st division in England. Until we have many billionaires owning MLS clubs, spending New York Yankees money, we are not going to be the Premier League or Bundesliga. The lazy, cynical, soccer purists need to go to a college football game sometime. Not the best football by far, but stadiums are packed with passionate fans. Does FIFA require Norway to play in the winter? End of discussion on this stupidity. How's your attendence and quality of play outdoors in Toronto & Chicago in January?
  1. Joe Hosack
    commented on: November 24, 2010 at 9:17 a.m.
    Ian, the commentator called the game like we were all watching our first Quidditch match and needed comentary meant for a 5 yr old. We all changed the channel in disgust. Any surprise?
  1. Robert Blodgett
    commented on: November 24, 2010 at 9:39 a.m.
    My family has been involved with soccer in the USA for over 25 years. I have coached youth teams from the U-6 to high school level. My oldest son plays yearly for the All Army Team and my next oldest son has played on the All Air Force team. My oldest daughter actually got cable TV this year to watch the World Cup. I watch soccer when ever I have time on TV and watch MLS and European Teams. I am not a fan of either Dallas or Colorado but I did tune in to the game. After watching some very skilled play intermingled with what can only be described as watching MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) I decided to change the channel and read about who won the game. I realize that there will be grabbing, pushing and rough play but this game was more thuggery than soccer and was not entertaining to watch. I like MMA but without a soccer ball! I did change the channel and watched something else. I believe this game certainly needed a referee to make a statement early that the game is soccer!
  1. C. Zee
    commented on: November 24, 2010 at 12:49 p.m.
    I tried to get interested in this final - I really did. But it was very poor by any standards. The complete telecast had much to be desired. The NFL does hours of pre-game, while ESPN spouts all it other sports throughout the soccer broadcast ... Ian Darke - we know how the game is played, we do not need a tutor. We need a commentator. The sponsor did not even get the MVP's name correct ... and the display of thuggery on the pitch was disgusting. I tuned into a non-league level of FA Cup (Ebbsfleet v AFC Wimbledon) and it was much better to watch and listen to then this MLS mess. Now the MLS is going to add a 9th and 10th place team to possibly play in the next MLS Cup Final ? Thank goodness for cable TV ...
  1. Michael Stammer
    commented on: November 24, 2010 at 8:52 p.m.
    I enjoyed the match between two of the less heralded teams in MLS. I thought that Ian Drake did just fine. (wish he was a bit more familiar with MLS though)After the US national team, watching the MLS Cup Final is my Super Bowl. MLS seems to get caught between the hard core Euro fans and the US sport fan that would rather watch NFL games. I watched my first US soccer championship in 1978, (Soccer Bowl 78) and I thought that soccer's time would come. It has come, with international matches and US national games. Unfortunately, our domestic league still takes a major backstep to all of the other sports competitions. It still was cool watching Colorado lift the trophy. Counting the days until the Chicago Fire kick off the 2011 season!

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