MLS tv rating vs. EPL tv rating on ESPN2

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by pc4th, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. pc4th

    pc4th New Member

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    Major League Soccer:

    http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/60481

    2008 (26 matches): 253,000 viewers
    2007 (25 matches): 289,000 viewers
    2006 (21 matches): 263,000 viewers


    English Premier League:

    Wigan vs Manchester United (10 AM Saturday): 374,799 viewers
    Liverpool vs Aston Villa (3PM ET Monday): 398,391 viewers


    Top rating on FSC:

    # Liverpool v Chelsea, 298,000 viewers [Sunday, 11am ET, February 1, 2009]
    # Manchester United v Chelsea, 243,000 viewers [Sunday, 11am ET, January 11, 2009]
    # Manchester City v Liverpool, 224,000 viewers [Sunday, 10am ET, October 5, 2008]
    # Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United, 199,000 viewers [Saturday, 12:30pm ET, October 4, 2008]



    http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/55979
    Flat MLS ratings not what ESPN expected

    MLS current deal with ESPN ($8 mil a year) will expire in 2014.


  2. Steezy

    Steezy Member

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    not good...
  3. monster

    monster Member

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    You do realize that the last link and those quotes are two years old, right?
  4. monster

    monster Member

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    What is not good? The most popular league in the world draws better than MLS? You find that shocking or strange in some way? How about this comparison? The MLS All-Star Game outdrew ManU-Wigan. Not good for the EPL if they can't outdraw an exhibition game.

    The numbers can be spun lots of different ways. The reality is that we don't know what ads sell for or what ratings are expected or what the demographics are or any of the real information that people use to make financial decisions. What we do know is that, while MLS is not as popular as the EPL - particularly when the top teams are playing - it has a steady audience that doesn't fluctuate much. That's not always a bad thing.
    1 person likes this.


  5. BirdsonFire

    BirdsonFire Member

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    Oh come on, now.


    What they hell does that matter?



    pc4th simply wants to post something that has numbers. Shiny numbers. Legible numbers. Numbers that you and I simply wouldn't take the time to put together. Because these numbers are infinitely important. They mean something.
    1 person likes this.
  6. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    I'd argue that these tv audience numbers are finitely important.

    Of course they do. And the audience demographic data (not available here) also means something beyond what we can read about in terms of household totals or viewer averages.

    and this subset of data (of season or league averages and/or single-match ratings posted in this thread) likely has different meaning and different importance for various people.


    did anyone see SportsCenter (either last night or this morning) when they showed a highlight clip with 3 of RSL's 4 goals v CUSA? "Findley made it look easy."
  7. monster

    monster Member

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    I'm sorry. It is wholly appropriate to use numbers and negative comments from 2007 when discussing ratings in 2009. :p
  8. drew_VT_6

    drew_VT_6 Member

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    That's what the NHL says, but I'm not even sure what sport they play and I can't ever find their league on TV.
  9. woodlands

    woodlands New Member

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    1. There is a "newness" factor with EPL on ESPN2. The EPL numbers will calm down after a while.

    2. The EPL on ESPN2 should eventually trickle down to better MLS ratings. Once you whet your apetite on any kind of pro soccer, you'll want more. And once you watch Wigan for 90 minutes, you'll want to watch a team from a city that you've actually been to.
  10. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

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    1. Maybe. But it should come as a shock to nobody that the EPL is more popular than MLS. That's just the way it is.

    2. I agree. A rising tide lifts all boats. It's frustrating to watch people become soccer fans and totally bypass MLS. I became a soccer fan before I became an MLS fan. The path to respect is slow and arduous, but it's slightly easier when there is a larger pool of fans from which to draw.

    I think of it this way. To further the broad interests of US soccer, it is currently necessary that our best players play abroad, even though it is a long-term goal to make MLS as good a league as possible. We have not just a growing number of Yanks Abroad, but also a growing number of Fans Abroad (mentally, at least). Now it's up to the league to bring them home.
  11. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    the EPL audience likely won't calm down all that much for the matches featuring the big 4 clubs. and one would hope/expect that Disney is hoping to grow that audience (while also suffering through some games that only feature mid-table or lower-table teams).

    that's a broad theory that I can't disagree with too much.

    of course, that point #2 leads to a potentially wide discussion of quality of product, location/availability of product, and/or the assurance of the ongoing bandwagon phenomenon among fans/viewers.

    to me, I'm just always (usually) pleased when there's televised soccer on tv (especially in HD) and that people are tuning in to watch.

    the ESPNs certainly have an interesting line-up and timing of matches this weekend on Aug 29-30.
  12. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    very well said.

    and of course those are very difficult tasks for MLS -- considering how players/fans like to get beyond their own borders and how much "soccer fans/players/people" in the US seem to appreciate/know/love a "foreign" experience.

    the domestic MLS will likely always live alongside and amongst the foreign leagues that will continue to have US based fans.

    and ESPN has responded by having contracts this fall (and going forward) for MLS, the EPL and La Liga.
  13. rhymeorreason

    rhymeorreason Member

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    I'd be very interested to see what kind of ratings ESPN2 would get in the fourth week if they had consecutive weeks of matchups like Stoke/Hull or Burnley/Portsmouth.
  14. drew_VT_6

    drew_VT_6 Member

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    I started following English soccer in 1990 at age 11. Five years later I had to choose which MLS team would be my favorite.

    Other reasons I usually prefer watching an EPL game:
    Presentation: yeah! we finally have pre- and post game shows, but football lines sure suck, all this "they do a better with camera angles" is garbage to me. I'm not that picky, give me a professional effort in a nice stadium.
    Atmosphere: I can only watch so many Seattle and Toronto games, I'd prefer Stoke vs Burnley to Houston @ PizzaHutPark, no matter how good the Dynamo or Dallas might be. Maybe if they kept the buffet open after 1pm more people would come out to the games?
    Quantity of Quality:MLS has a handful of great fun teams to watch, are they one of the 2 TV games this week? Maybe, maybe not. There's almost always 1 must see game of the week in England or Spain, even if I ignore 8-9 other ones.
  15. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

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    Tab.

    His comment was completely tongue-in-cheek in every way, shape and form.
  16. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    whoops.
  17. pc4th

    pc4th New Member

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    I quote the last link to show that MLS gets $8 mil a year from ESPN for 8 years. If ratings were flat in 2007 (Beckham), it is not doing much better in 2009. There is a reason why ESPN canceled Thursday Night MLS.
  18. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

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    Really? There are only 12 games that matter in the EPL - the Big 4 matches against one another - and only 2 matches in Spain - the Atletico Madrid-Espanyol home and home, obviously. ;) All the other matches are schedule filler.

    My favorite part about these threads is how everyone has a go at Burnley. It's awesome! They'll probably get more exposure on ESPN2 than they ever did in Blighty.
  19. mbar

    mbar Member+

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    I think its reasonable to expect that ESPN's ratings for the EPL could decline over time as the novelty factor wears off of the HD and the fact it's on ESPN. Especially as match ups get to be of less interesting teams.

    MLS is what it is. For soccer fans who only get ESPN, the EPL is something new and worth checking out.

    Still more exposure of soccer to the masses is a good thing. Why are people always trying to turn everythread in MLS N&A into an MLS vs. the rest of the world debate? They can both coexist.

    MLS has plenty going for it. MLS is still the best domestic league we have . It's the best league in the world that is primarily made of up of primarily American talent. That is compelling in it's own right. If you want to have a relationship with a team in person, instead of through a TV set in the middle of the morning, then MLS is the best option for you.
  20. monster

    monster Member

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    Call NASCAR and ask them if they would take "flat" ratings over what they have. Consistency is not always a bad thing in this case. I'm sure everyone involved would like it to be higher, but they also pretty much know what they are getting and can plan accordingly.
  21. Real FC United

    Real FC United New Member

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    WPS? Why so high?
    I saw some post about an arbitor thing, whats that all about?
  22. JayKay

    JayKay New Member

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    And also the problem with MLS is that the good and exciting teams this year might be some of the worst/boring teams next year. When they make the TV schedule in the off season, ESPN can't rely on teams being consistently exciting year after year the way they can with England.

    You know you're going to get an exciting game with the big 4, but imagine if ESPN awarded Red Bull more games this year after their 2008 Playoff run.
  23. napolisoccer

    napolisoccer Member

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    Very interesting.
  24. BirdsonFire

    BirdsonFire Member

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    Burnley is America's Team.
  25. 4door

    4door Member+

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    has anyone factored in online audiences? Justin tv? I watch more games online than I do on TV.

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