By Paul Kennedy
Saturday's Colorado-Real Salt Lake game on NBC Sports Network averaged 41,000 viewers, the smallest audience for an MLS game on the network this season and the third smallest audience on the network in its two years of MLS coverage.
NBCSN drew average audiences of 40,000 and 39,000 for two regular-season games in 2012. It averaged 119,000 viewers for 40 regular-season games for its first-season of MLS coverage, up from the average of 68,000 viewers for the MLS's final season on FOX Soccer.
The weekend's other English-language national broadcast -- ESPN2's Chicago-New York game on Sunday -- drew an average of 157,000 viewers.
NBC Sports Network, 2013 MLS Viewers
209,000 Seattle-Portland (March 16)
107,000 Houston-D.C. United (March 2)
100,000 New York-Philadelphia (March 30)
97,000 D.C. United-Columbus (March 23)
95,000 *Real Salt-Lake-Seattle (Feb. 23)
82,000 Sporting KC-Chicago (March 16)
79,000 Chicago-New England (March 9)
41,000 Colorado-Real Salt Lake (April 6)
*Tucson Diamond Cup final.
ESPN2, 2013 MLS Viewers
221,000 Portland-New York (March 3)
179,000 San Jose-New York (March 10)
157,000 Chicago-New York (April 7)
108,000 FC Dallas-Houston (March 17)
THORNS SIGN JERSEY SPONSOR. Providence Health & Services will be the primary jersey sponsor of the NWSL's Portland Thorns FC for the women's league's inaugural season. Providence Health & Services will also be the presenting sponsor in the multi-year deal. Both home and away jerseys also feature a secondary sponsor logo from local retailer Parklane Mattresses on the back of the jersey. Nike is the Thorns' sports apparel manufacturer.
SAMPDORIA TO LAUNCH CAMP PROGRAMS. Sampdoria’s Settore Giovanile -- its academy program -- will partner with U.S. and Canadian youth clubs through a partnership with Global Image Sports.
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