TV Report: Galaxy-Seattle game draws 549,000 viewers

Sunday's LA Galaxy-Seattle Sounders match, which featured Giovani dos Santos' debut with the MLS champions, averaged 549,000 viewers on ESPN, the largest audience for an MLS regular-season game on English-language cable in more than three years.

The viewership was Sunday's third largest for a soccer match on cable behind Tigres-Guadalajara on UDN (890,000 viewers) and Liverpool-Stoke City on NBCSN (610,000 viewers). It beat out NBCSN's viewership for its early EPL match, Arsenal-West Ham (405,000 viewers).

The New York Red Bulls-New York City FC match that followed the Galaxy-Sounders game and was aired on Fox Sports 1 averaged 315,000 viewers, the third largest audience of the year on FS1. The MLS Insider segment on Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard that aired before the New York derby averaged 255,000 viewers.

The strong viewing figures for the two MLS matches are encouraging for the league, which is in the first year of its new eight-year contract. Historically, viewing figures have fallen off in late summer and failed to rebound as the heavy fall sports season kicks in.

The Red Bulls-NYCFC game drew an additional 42,000 viewers on Fox Deportes. Viewing figures for the Galaxy-Sounders match on ESPN Deportes were unavailable.

UPDATE: The Galaxy-Sounders game drew a record MSL audience of 183,000 viewers on ESPN Deportes.

-- Reflective of the challenges facing the NWSL to capitalize on the Women's World Cup bump, the Portland-Chicago match, its first game of the season on Fox Sports 1, averaged only 91,000 viewers.

Largest MLS viewerships, English-language cable (2012-2015):
888,000 Portland-Seattle (ESPN), 2012
611,000 NY Red Bulls-Philadelphia (ESPN), 2012
549,000 LA Galaxy-Seattle (ESPN), 2015
539,000 Orlando City-New York City (ESPN2), 2015
508,000 LA Galaxy-NY Red Bulls (ESPN), 2012
496,000 LA Galaxy-Chicago (ESPN), 2012
495,000 Sporting KC-Chicago (ESPN), 2014
426,000 Seattle-Portland (ESPN2), 2014
405,000 Portland-FC Dallas (NBCSN), 2012
393,000 NY Red Bulls-Houston (ESPN2), 2013

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