ESPN did it Monday, and the result is yet another sign of how the sport is growing in this country.
Monday’s Manchester derby, a 1-0 home win for Manchester City over Manchester United in a 2011-2012 Premier League showdown, was seen on ESPN by an average of 1.033 million viewers (832,000 television homes), based on a 0.8 rating, making it the most-watched Premiership telecast on U.S. cable television, according to Nielsen.
The Manchester derby telecast out-delivered the previous high, an ESPN2 telecast of Arsenal vs. Chelsea, seen by an average of 610,000 viewers on Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.
To attract that large of an audience on a Monday afternoon is a huge deal for soccer. And for the networks who continue to track the rising numbers.
Here is a list of the top-rated PL games in the U.S.
|Date||Matchup||Viewers – P2+||Network|
|Mon, April 30, 2012||Manchester City vs. Manchester United||1,033,000||ESPN|
|Mon., Dec. 27, 2010||Chelsea vs. Arsenal||610,000||ESPN2|
|Sat., Feb. 11, 2012||Liverpool vs. Manchester United||588,000||ESPN2|
|Sun., Feb. 6, 2011||Liverpool vs. Chelsea||579,000||FOX Soccer|
|Mon., Dec. 13, 2010||Arsenal vs. Manchester United||570,000||ESPN2|
The news definitely is encouraging to Fox Sports. On May 13, its networks will show nine games simutaneously from the PL’s “Survival Sunday.”