ESPN/ESPN2 Audience for 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Up 38 Percent


ESPN/ESPN2 Audience for 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Up 38 Percent

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).

Additionally, the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs on ESPN/ESPN2 in 2017 have delivered significant increases across key demos:

  • Viewership in the coveted men 18-34 demo is up 61 percent (71,000 vs. 44,000 in 2016); and men 18-49, up 44 percent (141,000 vs. 98,000 in 2016).
  • Average viewership for 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs on ESPN/ESPN2 among adults 18-34 is up 65 percent (99,000 vs. 60,000 in 2016); and adults 18-49, up by 49 percent (198,000 vs. 133,000 in 2016).

The top 10 markets for 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs on ESPN networks: Columbus (1.6), Seattle-Tacoma (1.6), Atlanta (0.7), Dayton (0.5), Portland (0.4), Cincinnati (0.4), Nashville (0.4), Albuquerque (0.4), Knoxville (0.3) and Norfolk-Newport News (0.3).

ESPN Networks Deliver the Five Most-Viewed 2017 MLS Cup Playoff Games:  

Five of the seven matches on ESPN networks were the most-viewed MLS Cup Playoff games on national television in 2017, led by first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship – Columbus Crew SC vs. New York City FC – on Tuesday, Oct. 31. All 16 MLS Cup Playoff games in 2017 were on national television.

Top-Five MLS Cup Playoff Games on TV in 2017:

Date Matchup Network Viewers (P2+)
Tue, Oct 31 Columbus Crew SC vs. New York City FC ESPN 430,000
Tue, Nov 21 Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC ESPN 426,000
Thu, Nov 30 Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo ESPN 397,000
Thu, Oct 26 Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew SC ESPN2 319,000
Sun, Nov 5 Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls ESPN 312,000

2017 MLS Cup ESPN, Saturday at 4 p.m. ET

ESPN will conclude its coverage of the 2017 Major League Soccer season with the presentation of 2017 MLS Cup on ESPN Presented by Audi – Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders – on Saturday, Dec. 9, beginning at 4 p.m. ET with a 30-minute pregame show live from BMO Field in Toronto. The telecast will stream live on the ESPN App.

Date Time (ET) Event Networks
Sat, Dec 9 4 p.m. 2017 MLS Cup Pregame Show

Max Bretos, Kasey Keller and Alejandro Moreno

4:30 p.m. Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders

Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and Julie Stewart-Binks

6:30 p.m. Boot Room Extra – MLS Cup Postgame

Bretos/Sebastian Salazar, Healey, Herculez Gomez, Keller, Moreno, Stewart-Binks and Twellman


– 30 –


Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
Back to top button