TV: Crew games boost viewerships for MLS playoffs, up 38 percent on ESPN networks

Boosted by strong interest in Columbus Crew SC's playoff games, ESPN’s audience for the 2017 MLS playoffs is up 38 percent entering Saturday’s MLS Cup, which will air on ESPN and UniMas.

The seven games are averaging 343,000 viewers, according to Nielsen, up from 249,000 viewers in 2016. It is ESPN’s most-viewed MLS playoffs since 2014 (344,000 viewers).

ESPN viewership is also up among these demos ...

-- Men 18-34 ... 61 percent (71,000 vs. 44,000 in 2016);
-- Men 18-49 ... 44 percent (141,000 vs. 98,000 in 2016).
-- Adults 18-34 ... 65 percent (99,000 vs. 60,000 in 2016); and
-- Adults 18-49 ... 49 percent (198,000 vs. 133,000 in 2016).

The two most-viewed games were the two Crew home games: 430,000 (Crew vs. NYCFC) and 426,000 (Crew vs. Toronto FC. Both games were played on Tuesdays.
 
The top 10 ESPN markets
(2017 MLS playoffs)

1. Columbus (1.6)
1. Seattle-Tacoma (1.6)
3. Atlanta (0.7)
4. Dayton (0.5)
5. Portland (0.4)
5. Cincinnati (0.4)
5. Nashville (0.4)
5. Albuquerque (0.4)
9. Knoxville (0.3)
9. Norfolk-Newport News (0.3)
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