TV Report: MLS up 32 percent on ESPN and ESPN2

MLS is averaging 312,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPN2 in 2016, up 32 percent from the same period in 2015. The increase has been helped by a heavier concentration of games on the better viewed ESPN and lead-ins and promotion from its Euro 2016 coverage.

Thirteen of the 17 games aired in 2016 have been on ESPN. At the 2015 All-Star break, just two of the 22 broadcasts were on ESPN. The rest were on ESPN2.

ESPN’s Top MLS Telecasts (2016):
616,000 New York City-Seattle (June 25)
536,000 LA Galaxy vs. Seattle (July 9)  
463,000 Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver (May 22)

ESPN’s Top MLS Telecasts (2015):
549,000 LA Galaxy-Seattle (Aug. 9)
539,000 *Orlando City-New York City (March 8)
452,000 LA Galaxy-New York City (Aug. 23)
*On ESPN2.

The Seattle-New York City on ESPN drew 616,000 viewers on June 19 -- the most for an MLS regular-season broadcast on the network in four years. It followed coverage of the Portugal-Croatia overtime game at Euro 2016. Three MLS games with Euro 2016 lead-ins averaged almost 473,000 viewers.

MLS is also delivering a 44 percent increase in television homes (158,000) from the same period in 2015. The average minute audience to-date this season on WatchESPN is 12,000, an increase from 5,000 in 2015.

ESPN Deportes is up 44 percent with an average of 46,000 Hispanic viewers year-to-date in 2016, compared to 32,000 in 2015.

“As we enter the All Star break, we are delighted to see such substantial year over year gains in audience across ESPN platforms and in key demographics for Major League Soccer,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president for programming and acquisitions.  “We look forward to continue working with Major League Soccer to keep up the momentum as we enter a very busy fall sports calendar.”

Viewership on ESPN and ESPN2 is also up among key demographics, including 22 percent (66,000 in 2016 vs. 54,000 in 2015) for males 18-34.
1 comment about "TV Report: MLS up 32 percent on ESPN and ESPN2".
  1. trevor bloodworth, July 27, 2016 at 11:08 a.m.

    This is encouraging news. Certainly the EURO 2016 lead-ins helped, but hopefully whet the appetite of those extra viewers for more MLS. Nevertheless, the league demographic skews quite young, and the future is quite bright for the MLS and ESPN partnership.

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