New York – Chelsea had been out-played for most of the match, but only trailed Bayern Munich 1-0 in the 2012 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL until lightning struck in the 88th minute and Didier Drogba tied the score with a header off a corner kick. Thirty minutes of scoreless, dramatic extra-time ensued forcing the most prestigious title in European club soccer to be settled by penalty kicks. Again, it was Drogba who connected on the game’s final shot giving Chelsea the 4-3 victory and the European crown.
Broadcast in the United States by FOX Sports for the third consecutive year, the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL between Bayern Munich and Chelsea on Saturday (5/19) averaged a 1.1/3 household rating/share with an average audience of 2 million, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research making it the second most-watched ever. The three UCL Finals broadcast on FOX have averaged 2,049,000 viewers marking a 676% audience increase over the last decade (2002 UCL Final on ESPN2 delivered 264,000 viewers).
The 2012 UCL Final was +10% in rating (1.1 vs. 1.0) and +25% in audience (2 million vs. 1.6 million) compared to the 2010 game, which also featured Bayern Munich (vs. Inter-Milan). Last year’s match, buoyed by Barcelona and Manchester United, two of the world’s most popular soccer clubs, posted a 1.4/4, with 2.6 million viewers and is the most-watched UCL Final ever in the US.
– Viewing peaked during extra time and ensuing penalty kicks. The 5:00-5:30 half-hour posted 2.4 million viewers and the last three minutes of the broadcast delivered 2.5 million viewers.
– The average viewership of the UCL semi-finals on FOX Soccer and FX and the UCL Final on FOX was up +19% over 2011 (806,000 vs. 679,000).
– The UCL Final was the #6 program on all of television from 2:30-5:30 PM ET on Saturday and delivered more viewers than several other sports events televised last weekend.
– Proving popular with young men, the game posted a 1.6 rating on Men 18-34, ranking #2 in the 2:30-5:30 PM ET time period, and #3 event of the day.