NBC Televised 3 of 4 Most-Watched Live Premier League Matches in U.S. History
Viewership Up 9% Over Prior Record Set Last Season; Adults 18-49 up 16%
Record 317 Million Minutes of Live Premier League Action Streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra For the Season
NBC Sports Group Debuted Multiple New Premier League-Focused TV, Digital & Radio Presentations; Presented Live On-Site Premier League Studio Coverage From U.K. & Super Bowl XLIX
Washington DC, New York, Columbus, Denver & Philadelphia Top Local Market Ratings for Full Season
STAMFORD, Conn. — May 28, 2015 – On the strength of numerous innovations and programming initiatives, NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive season-long coverage of the Premier League – which concluded last weekend with NBCUniversal’s simultaneous presentation of all 10 “Championship Sunday” matches across 10 different television networks – produced viewership and consumption milestones for the 2014-15 season.
Premier League viewership on NBC and NBCSN was up 9% from last season’s record-setting figures, while NBC Sports Live Extra saw 22% growth over last season’s record in live minutes streamed (full details below). In addition, NBC aired three of the four most-watched live Premier League matches in U.S. TV history this season.
NBC Sports Group’s 2014-15 Premier League programming featured all 380 matches presented live both on television (on the networks of NBCUniversal and the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package; plus more than 120 matches on TELEMUNDO and NBCUNIVERSO) and with live streaming on NBC Sports Live Extra via TV Everywhere.
Throughout the season, NBC Sports Group rolled out a wide-range of innovations in its coverage, allowing viewers to enjoy the game in more ways and on more platforms than ever before.
Following is a chronological look at NBC Sports Group’s innovations this Premier League season:
- “Tactical Cam” — NBC Sports Live Extra’s high-sideline camera showing all 22 players on the pitch at the same time — enabling fans to see formations and evaluate each team’s attacking and defending tactics — was introduced for the Monday, Aug. 25, Manchester City-Liverpool match.
- THE MEN IN BLAZERS SHOW – The weekly program featuring popular soccer personalities Michael Davies, Roger Bennett and guests from across the world of sports and entertainment debuted on NBCSN on Monday, Sept. 22. Among guests in the “Panic Room” this season: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, actors Laura Carmichael and Dominic West, and Noel Gallagher and Vampire Weekend from the world of music.
- The 2 Robbies “Football” Show — NBC Sports Radio’s weekly digital and terrestrial program starring NBC Sports Group analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe premiered Saturday, Oct. 25. The show focused on the Premier League and international soccer, with commentary and analysis from Earle and Mustoe. The Robbies took calls, answered listener questions, and interviewed top names in the sport.
- New Year’s Day Premier League Breakaway — A special two-hour show featuring RedZone-like live look-ins on the best action from all eight Premier League matches in the 10 a.m. ET window on Jan. 1. Rebecca Lowe guided the program as it cut from match to match, and was joined by analysts Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe. Premier League Breakaway also streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra.
- “Super” Premier League Weekend in Arizona – The Saturday, Jan. 31, and Sunday, Feb. 1, Premier League Live shows originated live, on-location from “Super Bowl Central,” NBC Sports Group’s primary home for studio programing during Super Bowl week in downtown Phoenix. Host Rebecca Lowe was also featured in a Premier League segment on NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX Pre-game Show on Feb. 1 (more info below).
- “Road Trip” to U.K. — From April 11-13, for the first time since NBC Sports Group kicked off its Premier League coverage in August 2013, the entire Premier League team worked together on-location in the United Kingdom. Lowe and analysts Earle, Martino and Mustoe joined NBC’s U.K.-based team of Arlo White, Lee Dixon, Graeme Le Saux and Steve Bower for more than 18 hours of live on-site coverage. The presentation featured dual on-site studios for pre-match, halftime and post-game shows, including pitch-side locations for the first time in the history of Premier League coverage in the U.S.
- Special Relegation Breakaway – On the season’s penultimate weekend, NBCSN presented a special Relegation Breakaway show at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 16 featuring RedZone-like live look-ins on the best action from relegation-threatened 16th-place Sunderland v. 15th-place Leicester City, Tottenham v. 18th-place Hull City and Queens Park Rangers v. 17th-place Newcastle. Relegation Breakaway also streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra.
- Premier League Download – As a part of NBC’s continued effort to grow the game in the United States, Premier League Download both entertained and educated audiences by taking in-depth looks at some of the league’s biggest topics and themes. Episodes this season included: The Southampton Way – a look into the state-of-the-art youth academy at Southampton hosted by Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett, Behind the Whistle – Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux’s unprecedented exploration into what it takes to be a Premier League referee, and The Goalkeeper’s Union – Bennett’s interview of current Premier League goalkeepers to find out about the art, tactical ability and psychology of the game’s loneliest position.
Following is a look at NBC Sports Group’s metrics and milestones for the 2014-15 Premier League season:
Premier League Viewership Records
- NBC and NBCSN combined to average a record 479,000 viewers – up 9% from the then-record 438,000 viewers in NBC Sports Group’s first season covering Premier League in 2013-14 and up 118% from the combined 2012-13 season average on ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX Soccer (220,000).
- Among Adults 18-49, NBC and NBCSN averaged a record 280,000 viewers – up 16% from 2013-14 (241,000) and up 119% from the combined 2012-13 season average on ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX Soccer (128,000).
- NBC aired 3 of the 4 most-watched live Premier League matches in U.S. TV history this season (chart below), including Manchester United-Arsenal on Saturday, Nov. 22, which averaged 1.41 million viewers to rank as the most-watched live Premier League match in U.S. history.
- In just two years televising the Premier League, 12 of the 15 most-watched PL matches in U.S. TV history have aired on NBC and NBCSN, including seven during the 2014-15 season.
- NBCSN has televised 4 of the 5 most-watched Premier League matches in U.S. cable history (chart below), including Manchester United-Manchester City on Sunday, April 12, which averaged 1.13 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Premier League match in U.S. cable television history.
- On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, 6 million people tuned into the 2:30 p.m. ET half-hour of NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX Pre-game Show, which included Premier League host Rebecca Lowe on set with Football Night in America’s Dan Patrick and Tony Dungy at University of Phoenix Stadium. Lowe delivered a Premier League highlight segment, which included a look at the Chelsea-Manchester City match. Leading into Lowe’s segment was a special one-minute piece with the Men in Blazers’ Michael Davies and Roger Bennett choosing which NFL players they would recruit for their #MINIFFC soccer roster with MINI USA.
- NBCSN’s Liverpool-Manchester United match on Sunday, March 22 averaged 950,000 viewers to rank as the most-watched early morning (before 10 a.m. ET) Premier League match in U.S. television history.
- NBC’s Arsenal-Crystal Palace match on Saturday, Aug. 16 averaged 885,000 viewers, ranking as the most-watched opening weekend match in U.S. history.
Premier League Streaming Milestones
- Viewers consumed a record total of 317 million minutes of live Premier League action via NBC Sports Live Extra during the 2014-15 season – up 22% from last season.
- Coverage on Wednesday, March 4, set a single-day Premier League live-streaming record for minutes NBC Sports Live Extra (7.7 million) and included seven matches.
- Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Manchester United on Saturday, April 18, ranks as the most-streamed weekend PL match in history, with more than 85,000 uniques on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Most-Watched Live Premier League Matches in U.S. History
Following are the 15 most-watched live Premier League matches in U.S. television history:
|11/22/2014||Man United-Arsenal||NBC||1.41 million|
|2/5/2012||Chelsea-Man United||FOX||1.38 million|
|1/31/2015||Chelsea-Man City||NBC||1.35 million|
|10/26/2014||Man United-Chelsea||NBC||1.29 million|
|1/22/2012||Man United-Arsenal||FOX||1.26 million|
|2/8/2014||Cardiff-Swansea City||NBC||1.24 million|
|4/12/2015||Man United-Man City||NBCSN||1.13 million|
|1/11/2014||Man United-Swansea City||NBC||1.10 million|
|2/22/2014||Crystal Palace-Man United||NBC||1.06 million|
|4/30/2012||Man City-Man United||ESPN||1.03 million|
|1/19/2014||Chelsea-Man United||NBCSN||1.02 million|
|4/18/2015||Chelsea-Man United||NBC||1.01 million|
Following are the five most-watched live Premier League matches in U.S. cable history:Most-Viewed Premier League Matches on Cable in U.S. History
|4/12/2015||Manchester United-Manchester City||NBCSN||1.13 million|
|4/30/2012||Manchester City-Manchester United||ESPN||1.03 million|
|1/19/2014||Chelsea-Manchester United||NBCSN||1.02 million|
Following are the U.S. TV markets with the highest average season-long ratings on NBCSN and NBC combined, and NBC only (note: all NBC games, other than on “Championship Sunday,” started at 12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT or later, while some NBCSN games kicked off as early as 7 am ET/4 am PT): Local TV Ratings
Top 15 Local Market Ratings, NBC & NBCSN combined
|1. Washington, D.C.||9. Knoxville|
|2. New York||10. Indianapolis|
|3. Columbus, OH||11. Dallas|
|4. Denver||12. Providence|
|5. Philadelphia||13. Seattle|
|6. Miami||14. Albuquerque|
|7. West Palm Beach||15. Sacramento|
Top 15 Local Market Ratings, NBC only
|1. Seattle||9. Denver|
|2. Louisville||10. Richmond|
|3. Knoxville||11. New York|
|4. Washington, D.C.||12. Portland|
|5. Columbus, OH||13. Boston|
|6. West Palm Beach||14. Nashville|
|7. Sacramento||15. Greensboro|
The 2015-16 Premier League season kicks off on Saturday, August 8.
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