Commentary

EPL viewing up 71 percent for season finale

By Paul Kennedy

A total of 1,348,000 viewers -- 992,000 for English-language coverage and  356,000 for Spanish-language coverage -- tuned in for the U.S. television coverage of the final day of the English Premier League season, a jump of 72 percent over 2011 final day viewing.

All 10 games aired live on seven English-language networks, two Spanish-language networks and three Internet streams.

The largest rating was for Manchester City's 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

The game was seen by an average 600,000 viewers on ESPN2 and 189,000 on ESPN Deportes.

The audience climbed to 987,000 on ESPN2 for the last quarter hour when City came back from 2-1 down to win and finish ahead of Manchester United on goal difference for its first title in 44 years.

Survival Sunday Viewers (English-Language)
600,000 ESPN2 (Man. City QPR)
161,000 FX (Sunderland-Man. United)
77,000 Fox Soccer (Tottenham-Fulham)
59,000 FSN (West Brom-Arsenal)
53,000 SPEED (Chelsea-Blackburn)
42,000 FUEL TV (Swansea-Liverpool)
*Fox Soccer Plus (Stoke-Bolton)
*Not rated by Nielsen Media Research.

Survival Sunday Viewers (Spanish-Language)
189,000 ESPN Deportes (Man. City QPR)
167,000 Fox Deportes (Sunderland-Man. United)

SPORTING KC CLEANS UP.  Livestrong Sporting Park, home of Sporting Kansas City, was named Venue of the Year at the StadiumBusiness Awards 2012. The state-of-the-art stadium, built at a cost in excess of $200 million, opened in June 2011 to rave reviews. Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman was named Executive of Year, and Sporting Innovations received the Production Innovation Award for their FAN360 Application. Among the other soccer winners were the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium for the Sports Event of the Year.

SOLO ACT. U.S. women's national team star Hope Solo recently partnered with Simple Skincare, a line dedicated to sensitive skin. She says he's struggled with her skin for many years at the Women's World Cup and Olympics. “There aren’t any dyes or harsh chemicals or perfumes, which have irritated my skin in the past,” Solo told People.

BARTON BUYS APOLOGY TWEET. How desperate was Joey Barton to apologize for his red card during QPR’s game against Manchester City on Survival Sunday? He used promoted tweets to buy space on timelines among those who are not even among his 1.4 million followers. It was a first for a British athlete.

TV WATCH. ESPN Deportes has acquired the Spanish-language TV rights to the Europa League in the United States for the next three seasons. It will air more than 60 matches per season.

WORTH READING. For a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into producing an MLS telecast on ESPN, you should read blogger Jonathan Tannenwald's story on philly.com.
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