ABC Delivers Best MLS Cup Audience on Disney Media Networks since 2014


ABC Delivers Best MLS Cup Audience on Disney Media Networks since 2014

Seattle Sounders’ victory over Toronto FC averages 823,000 viewers

Photos via ESPN Images

The ABC broadcast of Sunday’s 2019 MLS Cup Presented by Audi – a Seattle Sounders’ 3-1 victory over Toronto FC – averaged 823,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen fast nationals, making it the most-watched MLS Cup match on the Disney Media Networks since 2014.

Sunday’s audience is a three percent increase over the last MLS Cup on the Disney networks in 2017 (803,000 viewers on ESPN) and the company’s most-viewed Major League Soccer championship match since 2014 (964,000 on ESPN).

The 2019 MLS Cup audience peaked late in the second half (4:45-5 p.m. ET) with 1,092,000 million viewers. Locally, Seattle-Tacoma, the MLS Cup host market, averaged a 13.2 rating, the best MLS Cup rating on record for this market. (Note: Toronto is not a Nielsen market.)

2019 MLS Cup caps a record-setting MLS Playoffs for the Disney Media Networks. Prior to Seattle-Toronto, the five ESPN/ESPN2 matches combined for a 36 percent audience increase, while the LAFC-LA Galaxy Western Conference semifinal on Oct. 24 delivered ESPN’s best MLS Cup Playoffs audience in five years. This year is also the most-watched MLS postseason on ESPN Deportes, which is up an impressive 235 percent.

Audiences for 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2:

Date Game Network Viewers (P2+)
Sun, Oct 20 Minnesota United FC vs. LA Galaxy ESPN 329,000
Thu, Oct 24 Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union ESPN2 303,000
  LAFC vs. LA Galaxy ESPN2/ESPN 496,000
Tue, Oct 29 LAFC vs. Seattle Sounders ESPN 389,000
Sun, Nov 10 Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC ABC 823,000

* ESPNEWS also televised a 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs match (Oct. 19: Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers)


Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s College Sports PR, while also working on ESPN soccer, Around the Horn, PTI and more. Previously oversaw communications for ESPN's Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows.
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