TV Report: MLS Fox games crush MLB in key 18-49 demo

Fox's split-national MLS broadcast of two games adjacent to NFL regional broadcasts delivered 1,298,000 viewers on Sunday, making it the most-watched MLS telecast of any kind and on any network in 12 years.

The game drew 629,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic, more than 48 percent higher than Fox's MLB coverage on Saturday afternoon, which reached only 424,000 viewers in the same demo.
 
The previous high for an MLS game was 1,429,000 viewers for the D.C. United-San Jose game that marked 14-year-old Freddy Adu's debut.

Fox markets saw one of two MLS games -- Toronto FC-New York Red Bulls or Sporting Kansas City-LA Galaxy -- before or after regional NFL coverage.

The simultaneous coverage marked the first time in MLS’s 21 seasons that a network partner televised games from two leagues on the same network at the same time.
3 comments about "TV Report: MLS Fox games crush MLB in key 18-49 demo".
  1. Pasco Struhs, September 21, 2016 at 9:46 a.m.

    That's fantastic. I was one of the supporters watching the Red Bulls. I predict that this viewership will only grow as the US continues to diversify, and soccer grows in popularity here in the US.

  2. Joe Wilson, September 21, 2016 at 1:32 p.m.

    "The simultaneous coverage marked the first time in MLS’s 21 seasons that a network partner televised games from two leagues on the same network at the same time."

    This doesn't make sense. You wrote that NFL was on before and after, and MLB was on a different day, so no 2 leagues were going head-to-head.

    This would be more interesting if it is MLS vs. MLB head-to-head on networks with similar size potential of audiences, about the same at stake for all teams, and similar quality of lead-in programming. MLS sandwiched between NFL games will always help ratings, even if the majority of NFL fans are not MLS fans. If an ESPN2 MLS game doubled an ESPN MLB game, that would be quite a story.

    Either way, I agree, baseball is on life support as a televised sport. I can't sit through it anymore.

  3. Mike in SoCal, September 21, 2016 at 6:32 p.m.

    The one aspect that MLS growth has been slower than others has been in viewership numbers, but a variety of things contribute to it.

    Here though we are seeing *the* key demographic choosing to stay with MLS games when it's made easier for them, lead-in or -out with NFL.

    The comparison vs MLB is very important when one takes into account soccer has surpassed baseball in terms of interest of youngsters.

    All good stuff, hopefully MLS ratings continue to rise, slowly but surely, and lead to bigger TV deals, which in turn infuses more money into the league meaning better players and product!

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