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Most-watched soccer games on US TV: July 27-Aug 2

Most-watched soccer games on U.S. TV: July 27- Aug. 2, 2020

August 5, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
U.S. soccer TV viewership dropped 73 percent from the previous week. Find out why.

The MLS is Back Tournament round of 16 and quarterfinal action took up all the U.S. TV space dedicated for soccer from Monday, July 27, through Monday, Aug. 3. The five games, all of which started after 8 p.m. ET and after, averaged around 243,000 viewers and amassed a total of 1,215,000 on English-language ESPN and FOX Sports 1. 

Los Angeles FC's 4-1 victory over The Seattle Sounders on Monday, July 27, at 11 p.m. ET stole the show bringing in 284,000 viewers to FS1. Despite FS1 attracting the largest crowd for a single game last week, the network also brought the least number of viewers on Monday, Aug. 3, when the San Jose Earthquakes faced the Real Salt Lake with a total of 223,000. As a result, ESPN had the most viewership attracting a total of 708,000 across three games compared to FS1's 507,000 over two games. Fox Sports 1 did have a better average viewership drawing an average of 253,000 viewers compared to ESPN's 236,000.  

Moreover, U.S. Soccer viewership dropped 73 percent from the previous week. The main reason for the significant drop was the end of the Premier League 2019/20 season and the NWSL Challenge Cup. Just to put it into perspective, the Challenge Cup Final between the Houston Dash and the Chicago Red Stars broadcasted through CBS, and the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City showed through NBC gathered more viewers (1,403,000) than all five MLS is Back Tournament games from last week (1,215,000). A special shout-out to the NWSL for breaking the league's TV audience record, bringing in 653,000 viewers. 

ESPN broadcasts' ratings  

MLS is Back Tournament: Columbus Crew (3)1-1(5) Minnesota United on Tuesday, July 28, at 8 p.m. ET 

This game brought a total of 240,000 viewers, who were able to witness underdog Minnesota United knocking-out the undefeated Columbus Crew out of the tournaments in penalties. The game received a 0.15 household rating. 

MLS is Back Tournament: Portland Timbers (4)1-1(2) FC Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 28, at 10:30 p.m. ET 

An audience of 230,000 people witnessed FC Cincinnati hold-off a strong Portland Timbers side until the penalty shootout that saw Portland come out as the victor. The two scorers, Cincinnati's Jurgen Locadia and Portland's Jaroslaw Niezgoda, scored their first goal of the tournament. The game received a 0.14 household rating. 

MLS is Back Tournament: Philadelphia Union 3-1 Sporting Kansas City on Thursday, July 30, at 8 p.m. ET 

Two-hundred-thirty-eight-thousand viewers saw the Philadelphia Union secure a spot in the MLS is Back Tournament semifinal after beating SKC 3-1. Brazilian forward Sergio Santos was the star of the game scoring two goals and assisting the third. The game received a 0.15 household rating.  

FOX Sports 1 broadcasts' ratings 

MLS is Back Tournament: San Jose Earthquakes 5-2 Real Salt Lake on Monday, July 27, at 8:30 p.m. ET 

A total of 223,000 viewers watched a blockbuster of a match where the San Jose Earthquakes demolished Real Salt Lake to secure a quarterfinal spot. U.S. international Kyle Beckerman was shown a red card for kicking the ball at the referee just after blowing the final whistle. The game received a 0.13 household rating. 

MLS is Back Tournament: Seattle Sounders 1-4 Los Angeles FC on Monday, July 27, at 11 p.m. ET 

The most-watched game of the week drew in an audience of 284,000 who saw LAFC punish the Seattle Sounders 4-1. Diego Rossi scored a brace to bring his goal tally to seven in the MLS is Back Tournament. The game received a 0.15 household rating.  

Projected Top-3 Audience Games: Aug. 3-9 

With the Champions League kicking back up on Friday, July 7, it seems likely that CBS will be drawing in the biggest audiences in the U.S. Here are the matches to look for: 




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