By Paul Kennedy
Monday’s Manchester derby between Manchester City over Manchester United for the English Premier League lead on ESPN set an EPL record for the largest viewing audience ever on U.S. cable television. The game was seen by an average of 1.033 million viewers, based on a 0.8 rating, according to Nielsen.
The five most-viewed Premiership matches on U.S. cable TV:
DATE NETWORK: MATCH AUDIENCE
April 30, 2012, ESPN: Man. City vs. Man. United, 1,033,000
Dec. 27, 2010, ESPN2: Chelsea vs. Arsenal, 610,000
Feb. 11, 2012, ESPN2: Liverpool vs. Manchester United, 588,000
Feb. 6, 2011, Fox Soccer: Liverpool vs. Chelsea, 579,000
Dec. 13, 2010, ESPN2: Arsenal vs. Manchester United, 570,000
Additionally, the City-United match was the most-viewed EPL telecast on ESPN Deportes, earning a 4.0 Hispanic coverage rating, which represents 273,000 Hispanic viewers, P2+.
On ESPN3 and WatchESPN, an average minute audience of nearly 87,200 people watched the derby.
MORE TV NUMBERS. The four semifinal games in the UEFA Champions League averaged 1.033 million viewers each, according to Nielsen. That's an increase of 29 percent from the 2011 audiences.
Combined, FX and Fox Deportes drew 1.236 million total viewers, making the Real Madrid-Bayern Munich second leg the most-watched UEFA Champions League non-final match in history.
The return leg between Barcelona and Chelsea recorded 438,000 total viewers on Fox Soccer and 545,000 on Fox Deportes for 983,000 total viewers.
Fox Sports is broadcasting the Bayern Munich-Chelsea final live at 2 p.m. ET on May 19.
MAKING A LIST. Soccer clubs were the four highest-paying teams in the world last year and ranked as seven of the top 10 highest-paying teams. Barcelona and Real Madrid remained 1-2, while Manchester City and Chelsea climbed to 3-4, ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Yankees.
Sporting Intelligence ranks 278 teams in seven sports: soccer, baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey, cricket and Australian Rules football.
The highest-ranked MLS team was the Los Angeles Galaxy, No. 219 with an average salary of $555,799.
Last on the list at No. 278 was the Columbus Crew with an average salary of $89,369. The salaries of only five other teams averaged less than $100,000: four in the Canadian Football League and Hamilton of the Scottish Premier League.
TEAM (LEAGUE) AVERAGE SALARY
1. Barcelona (La Liga) $8,680,569
2. Real Madrid (La Liga) $7,796,637
3. Manchester City (EPL) $7,403,754
4. Chelsea (EPL) $6,795,899
5. Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) $6,278,088
6. New York Yankees (MLB) $6,186,322
7. AC Milan (Serie A) $6,104,769
8. Bayern Munich (Bundesliga) $5,907,652
9. Philadelphia Phillies (MLB) $5,817,965
10. Inter Milan (Serie A) $5,700,915
U.S. MEN PROVIDED MATCH ANALYSIS. U.S. Soccer signed a multi-year relationship with Match Analysis, which will provide touch-by-touch video and statistical analysis using its Mambo Studio software for the men’s national team. The USA is the seventh national team to work with Match Analysis. Its clients have won eight of the last 10 MLS Cups, nine of the last 10 U.S. Open Cups and nine of the last 10 MLS Supporter’s Shields.
LILLY JOINS KORRIO. Kristine Lilly, who holds the world record with 352 international appearances for the U.S. women's national team, has joined Korrio as a soccer ambassador. Her Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy, based in Massachusetts and Connecticut, will use Korrio. It integrates web, mobile and social networking for automated team administration and personalized player pages. "This platform is full of features I wish I had during my playing career!" said Lilly.
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