MLS on ESPN Scores Viewership Increase for 2019 Regular Season

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MLS on ESPN Scores Viewership Increase for 2019 Regular Season

ESPN Coverage of Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Kicks Off Next Weekend – October 19 and 20 

ESPN’s English-language television coverage of Major League Soccer scored a two percent increase during the 2019 regular season, according to Nielsen. The 31-match schedule on ESPN and ESPN2 delivered an average audience of 246,000 viewers (P2+), up from 241,000 viewers for 31 matches in 2018.

On ESPN, 25 matches averaged 266,000 viewers, a seven percent gain from 248,000 in 2018 – the most-watched cable network for MLS matches this season. The six telecasts on ESPN2 in 2019 delivered an average audience of 164,000.

ESPN’s top-three MLS telecasts in 2019:

  • 462,000 viewers – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Atlanta United FC, ESPN (Sun, July 14)
  • 401,000 viewers – DC United vs. Atlanta United FC, ESPN (Sun, March 3*)
  • 368,000 viewers – LAFC vs. Sporting Kansas City, ESPN (Sun, March 3*)

* 2019 season-opening doubleheader on ESPN

The top-10 markets for ESPN’s Major League Soccer telecasts through Friday, Oct. 4: Portland (0.8), Atlanta (0.5) Seattle-Tacoma (0.4), Cincinnati (0.4), Kansas City (0.4), West Palm Beach (0.3), Las Vegas (0.3), Richmond (0.3), St. Louis (0.3) and Austin (0.3).

Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs on ESPN

ESPN’s coverage of the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs will begin Saturday, Oct. 19, with Real Salt Lake vs. 2018 MLS Cup finalist Portland Timbers at 10 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes. Also this weekend, Minnesota United FC hosts Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. This postseason, MLS is debuting a new single-elimination playoff match format that will conclude Sunday, Nov. 10, with the 2019 MLS Cup on ABC.

Date Time (ET) Event Networks
Sat, Oct 19 10 p.m. Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers ESPNEWS / ESPN Deportes
Sun, Oct 20 8:30 p.m. Minnesota United FC vs. LA Galaxy ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Thu, Oct 24 7:30 p.m. Conference Semifinals ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes
  10:30 p.m. Conference Semifinals ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Tue, Oct 29 TBD Western Conference Final ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Sun, Nov 10 3 p.m. MLS Cup ABC

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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, including soccer, NFL and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
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