Commentary

TV battle: EPL downs MLS 1.1 to 0.4

By Ridge Mahoney and Paul Kennedy

The lineups were similar and so were the outcomes last weekend when Fox aired a Premier League match on tape and NBC showed a live MLS game.

Sports Media Watch reported that the Manchester United-Newcastle United game aired on tape-delay Sunday by Fox drew a 1.1 overnight rating, the same figure generated for the second telecast last season of Tottenham-Arsenal. The game was aired in two time slots, depending on whether it preceded or followed the regional NFL telecast.

On Saturday, NBC’s live coverage of New York-Chicago drew a 0.4 rating, the same figure registered last month when a Timbers-Sounders game kicked off league coverage on the main network. There is one more NBC telecast scheduled during the regular season, an Oct. 27 match between Philadelphia and New York.

ESPN DEPORTES' CAPITAL TOUR. ESPN Deportes' Capitales del Fútbol documentary series debuts on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET with a look at Barcelona. Four more episodes will appear before the end of the year, featuring Bogota, Manchester, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. Four additional episodes on Buenos Aires, Madrid, Milan and Rio de Janeiro will air in 2013. Capitales del Fútbol initially aired on ESPN across Latin America, becoming its highest rated original series ever in the region with more than 10 million viewers tuning in to date.

(Click here for a look at the series.)

NASL ATTENDANCE. Year 2 saw the expansion San Antonio Scorpions lead the NASL in attendance with an average of 9,176 fans -- more than double any other team's season average. The NASL's regular-season attendance increased modestly from 3,779 in 2011 to 3,810 in 2012, despite the loss of the Montreal Impact (who averaged over 11,500 fans last year) to MLS. Atlanta’s average of 4,505 was nearly a 60 percent increase over the previous season’s average of 2,866.

2012 Average Attendance
San Antonio 9,176
Atlanta 4,505
Carolina 3,883
Fort Lauderdale 3,615
Tampa Bay 3,116
Minnesota 2,796
Puerto Rico 1,864
Edmonton 1,525

FIFA SOCCER 13'S RECORD LAUNCH. EA Sports' FIFA Soccer 13 enjoyed opening day sales in North America of 353,000 games sold—a 42 percent increase year-over-year—on the PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 systems. FIFA Soccer 13 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad enjoyed the biggest launch-day performance of any EA iOS game in history, with downloads up 62 percent over last year.
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