ESPN’s 2017 MLS Cup viewership is up 20 percent, while ESPN scores its most-viewed MLS Playoffs since 2014
ESPN’s 2017 MLS Cup telecast – a 2-0 Toronto FC victory over the Seattle Sounders – averaged a 0.7 metered market rating, up 75 percent compared to the 0.4 rating for the 2015 MLS Cup – the last Major League Soccer championship game on ESPN.
ESPN will present the 2017 MLS Cup on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. ET, when Toronto FC hosts defending champion Seattle Sounders at BMO Field in Toronto. A rematch of the 2016 MLS Cup won by Seattle on a penalty shootout, Major League Soccer’s championship match features some of the league’s biggest stars – Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco and U.S. Men’s National Team stars Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, and Seattle’s Nicolás Lodeiro and USMNT star Clint Dempsey.
ESPN’s audience for the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs is up 38 percent entering this weekend’s MLS Cup Final. The seven playoff matches on ESPN and ESPN2 to date have delivered an average audience of 343,000 viewers, according to Nielsen, up from 249,000 viewers for the six playoff matches in 2016. It is ESPN’s most-viewed MLS Cup Playoffs since 2014 (344,000 viewers).
ESPN’s presentation of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs is up significantly versus a year ago. Through three games, matches on ESPN and ESPN2 have averaged 327,000 viewers, according to Nielsen – an 80 percent increase from 182,000 viewers for the first three playoff matches in 2016.
ESPN will present MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T – the final day of the 2017 Major League Soccer regular season – on Sunday, Oct. 22, with a live two-hour whip-around show with highlights and look-ins to all 11 league matches being played simultaneously. Coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.
ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will present the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match featuring United Soccer League’s FC Cincinnati vs. Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire on Wednesday, June 28, live from Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) and will be streamed live on the ESPN App.
ESPN’s live presentation of Sunday’s MLS Heineken® Rivalry Week matchup between the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders at Portland’s Providence Park has been moved to 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
ESPN’s season-opening Major League Soccer telecast on Sunday – Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC in the first match at Orlando’s new downtown stadium – averaged 411,000 viewers, up 14 percent compared to the Portland-Columbus opener in 2016 (362,000 viewers).
ESPN’s 22nd straight season of Major League Soccer will kick off Sunday, March 5, at 5 p.m. ET with Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC – the 2017 MLS season- opener for both teams and the first match at Orlando City SC’s new downtown stadium. The game features some of the league’s top international stars, such as Brazil’s Kaká and Italy’s Antonio Nocerino (Orlando), and Spain’s David Villa and Italy’s Andrea Pirlo (NYC FC).