Friday, May 29, 2009

ESPN's Champions League Ratings Are Great!

We all know football can succeed in the United States. Here's further proof.

Wednesday's airing of FC Barcelona’s 2-0 win over defending champion Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League final averaged 1.43 million viewers (and a 1.1 rating/1.07 million homes) for ESPN, making it the most-watched UEFA soccer game in the history of U.S. Cable.

The previous record was the 2008 final on ESPN2 that averaged 1.09 million viewers.

The final was also ESPN Deportes’ second most-watched telecast ever, drawing a 9.9 Hispanic coverage ratings and 474,000 Hispanic homes. The most-watched ESPN Deportes telecast was the Euro 2008 Final where Spain beat Germany that drew a 10.1 Hispanic coverage rating.

This match marks the end of a 15-year run on ESPN networks. Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports USA outbid the Disney-owned sports network for the rights to the prestigious club tournament for the next three seasons.

MY POV: It just goes to show that soccer can make a foothold in the USA. There are just two problems.

1 - People flock to the big names. Barcelona. Manchester United. The appetite is there for big-name soccer. But what about the domestic product, the MLS? The hunger and passion isn't there for this product just yet. It's huge in places like Seattle and Toronto. But MLS still needs to catch fire in other target cities, like Chicago and New York.

2 - Now that the Champions League is moving to the Fox Soccer Channel, which isn't distributed in as many homes as ESPN, will the under exposure hurt the game?

I'm sure Fox and their vast network of resources will work hard to further their resources. Still, it's not in place like ESPN's is. This is a total 'wait and see.'


Mr PL4T3 said...

Hey mate, I was wondering where you got these figures from? This comes up as one of the top results on Google, but I am in search of an official source.

Hopefully the 2010 Champions League final will be on Fox, as it will be on a Saturday night for the first time. And since Fox is available OTA in most places, it could even end up increasing exposure for the biggest matches. Though surely FSC will be broadcasting the mere formalities that are the group stage matches.

schucke44 said...

what a ..., no championsleague in espn or star sport, just sport trash, what channel are showing international soccer in cebu. Only the russian/american englishs money clubs league? What a....,
ESPN the world sports looser