Tuesday, April 26, 2016

New Low for MLS on ESPN

Major League Soccer posted a new league low on ESPN this past Sunday as only 180k tuned in to watch the afternoon San Jose Earthquakes / Sporting Kansas City match.

It's the lowest watched ESPN game since the league signed the latest deal last year. That's not good! To put 180k into some context - It's the 2nd lowest rated program (all programs) I have on record for ESPN in the month of April.

MLS is down 10% overall on ESPN / FS1 YOY (median viewership is down nearly 25%). If that weren't bad enough, games were shown on ESPN2 this early in the season last year. What that means is viewership has dropped off a cliff, even when on the "flagship" channel.


I've been tracking these numbers for a couple years now. My Google Doc doth overfloweth. These audience figures are going the wrong way. In a bad way. Even the viewers between the ages of 18-49 are going the wrong way.

Things aren't going to get better this summer when the MLS season turns to swiss cheese with Copa America and Euro 2016. It only gets worse at the end of summer when the National Football League kicks off. Last year MLS games dipped below 100k on both ESPN and Fox in that time frame.


What's the solution? I'm working on a post that attempts to answer that. In the meantime, I've written about why people don't tune in... HERE.

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