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How do people worldwide tune into El Clasico?

El Clasico global viewership: how the world watches Real Madrid-Barcelona

April 20, 2017 By Michelle Bonsu
With over 500 Million people worldwide expected to watch the famous Spanish derby, LiveSoccerTV.com takes a look at some of the numbers ahead of the latest upcoming edition of El Clasico.

It has been billed as the biggest football match in the world, and as one of the most eagerly-anticipated and highly-watched events in sports.

This Sunday, football fans worldwide will be all fixated on their TV screens, computer screens, and other mobile devices.

But just how big is it? Let's take a look at some numbers from the past three installments of El Clasico.

November 21, 2015: A glorious day for Barcelona fans

4-0. Two goals from Luis Suarez, one from Neymar, and one from veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta were enough to give Barcelona a well-deserved El Clasico win. Even better for Blaugrana fans, the victory was at Real Madrid's home ground.

That edition of football's biggest match saw over 2.2 million fans tuning in in just the United States alone at its ultimate peak (after Suarez's second goal). As per reports, overall, a bit over 1.8 million people tuned in using beIN Sports as their provider, with just under 770K of those on beIN Sports main network.

The other 1.1 million opted to use the Spanish variant of the same channel.

That, of course, is not including people who tuned in via "alternative" methods - something that in itself is a tough number to estimate.

Plenty to celebrate: Over 375 million fans worldwide tuned in to watch Barcelona's 4-0 rout of Real Madrid on November 21, 2015

April 2, 2016: Real Madrid make amends

What a difference a few months can make. Rafa Benitez was sacked in January, with Zinedine Zidane taking over. The 1998 World Cup winner would later guide Real Madrid to clinch their 11th Champions League title, and along the way, the capital giants managed to get some revenge on Barcelona by beating them 2-1 at the Camp Nou, courtesy of goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.

Revenge is a dish best served at your opponents' home ground: The April 2016 Clasico surpassed viewership from the Nov. 2015 edition as Real Madrid defeated their bitter rivals 2-1

That game saw a reported 400 million people worldwide tuning in across over 90 countries. Over 1.9 milion of those were in the United States.

To compare, the Super Bowl is often billed as the most watched event in the world. In reality, it's not, which should not surprise most people outside the United States. On average, the April 2016 El Clasico had over twice the viewership of Super Bowl 49, with a reported 160 million tuning in to the annual football event versus the aforementioned 400 million for El Clasico.

The 2016 NBA finals, which was one of the most entertaining in recent times due to LeBron James's clutch performance that inspired Cleveland to victory was seen by an average of 20.28 million viewers. Throughout the series, a total of about 142 million people tuned in across the seven games, with peak viewership hitting 31 million for Game 7.

In terms of live attendance, El Clasico during the 2015/2016 season was attended by more people than even the Euro 2016 final, which reportedly had a bit under 76,000, the 2014 World Cup final (approximately 75,000) and the usual attendance at the Manchester Derbies (about 65,000). The first meeting in November 2015 saw 81,044 fans in attendance, whilst the April edition had 99,264, which averages out to a total of 90,154 people viewing it live.

December 3, 2016: The Spanish giants share the spoils

Did you know that Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the most valuable sports enterprises in the world? That includes other sports like the "other" football (NFL), baseball, and basketball. In fact, as per Forbes, only NFL outfit Dallas Cowboys, which is valued at $4 billion, is worth more than Barcelona ($3.56 billion) and Real Madrid ($3.65 billion).

The latest edition of El Clasico ended in a draw. And viewership, at least in the United States was down, with some reports indicating about 1.4 million people tuned in on beIN Sports English and Spanish networks.

Again, the majority of viewers were on the Spanish channel with about 900K tuning in there versus the regular beIN Sports channel (500K). But a look at these numbers (via beIN Sports) will truly show a downturn in viewership:

- March 22, 2015: 2.120 million viewers (with 767,000 viewers on beIN SPORTS and 1,353,000 viewers on beIN SPORTS Spanish network)

- November 21, 2015: 1.874 million viewers (with 768,445 viewers on beIN SPORTS and 1,106,137 viewers on beIN SPORTS Spanish network)

- April 2, 2016: 1.915 million viewers (with 695,000 viewers on beIN SPORTS and 1,220,487 viewers on beIN SPORTS Spanish sister network)

Could it have been the different time? That edition was played between 10:15 AM and 12:15 PM EST. For West Coast fans, that means it was played between 7:15 AM and 9:15 AM, which is just when a lot of people are starting to get up on a weekend. Usually the matches are played later in the day, which is around 14:45 EST (or 11:45 AM PST), and this upcoming one will be featuring at that time.

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