- 2021 season to date audience up 39 percent compared to 2019 season average
- MLS on ABC and ESPN networks on-track to deliver most-watched season since 2000
- Coverage of MLS’s 26th season continues with doubleheader on Friday
- ESPN+ continues expansive MLS Live streaming of all Out-of-Market matches
The 2021 Major League Soccer season on ABC and ESPN networks had delivered an average audience of 384,000 viewers (P2+) through 18 matches, a 50 percent increase compared to the 2020 regular-season average (257,000).
Compared to the 2019 regular-season average (277,000 viewers), the audience of 384,000 average viewers for MLS on ABC and ESPN networks represents a 39 percent increase in viewership through 18 matches in 2021.
- With 358,000 average viewers season to date, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 combined are currently on track to deliver Major League Soccer’s most-watched season since 2000 (378,000 viewers across the same three English-language networks)
- The five ABC matches this season – the most MLS matches on the broadcast network since 1998 – delivered an average audience of 507,000 viewers. Last year, three ABC matches averaged 318,000 viewers.
Top-five MLS matches on ABC and ESPN networks in 2021:
|Sun, May 9||Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders||ABC||620,000|
|Inter Miami CF vs. Atlanta United||ABC||557,000|
|Sun, Jun 20||Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union||ESPN||546,000|
|Sat, Apr 24||LAFC vs. Seattle Sounders||ESPN||499,000|
|Sun, Apr 18||Inter Miami CF vs. LA Galaxy||ABC||482,000|
2021 MLS on ESPN Continues Friday with a MLS Heineken Rivalry Week doubleheader
ESPN coverage of the 26th season of Major League Soccer continues with three MLS Heineken Rivalry Week matches this weekend, including a doubleheader on Friday: Columbus Crew vs. FC Cincinnati at 6:30 p.m. ET, and Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami CF at 8:30 p.m. The Cascadia Cup – Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday at 10:30 p.m. – will round out the weekend of rivalry matches. All three games will be on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and available on the ESPN App.
El Tráfico – the matchup between crosstown rivals LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC – on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m. is one of the remaining 12 matches across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes as MLS teams compete for spots in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.
MLS Cup: ABC will be home to MLS Cup 2021 on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. – the 23rd time in 26 years that Major League Soccer’s champion has been crowned on a Walt Disney Company media network.
2021 MLS on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes – Schedule:
|Fri, Aug 27||6:30 p.m.||Columbus Crew vs. FC Cincinnati||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|8:30 p.m.||Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami CF||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Sun, Aug 29||10:30 p.m.||Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Sun, Sep 19||4 p.m.||Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Sun, Sep 26||9:30 p.m.||Austin FC vs. LA Galaxy||ESPN2, ESPN Deportes|
|Sun, Oct 3||8 p.m.||LA Galaxy vs. Los Angeles FC||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Sun, Oct 10||5 p.m.||Minnesota United vs. Colorado Rapids||ESPN, ESPN3 (Spanish)|
|Sun, Oct 17||1 p.m.||New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Sun, Oct 24||4 p.m.||Austin FC vs. Houston Dynamo||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Tue, Oct 26||10:30 p.m.||Los Angeles FC vs. Seattle Sounders||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Sun, Oct. 31||1 p.m.||Minnesota United vs. Sporting Kansas City||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Sun, Nov 7||3:30 p.m.||TBD||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
* Schedule Subject to Change
* All matches will stream live on the ESPN App
Exclusively on ESPN+ – 13 Out-of-Market MLS Games in two weeks
ESPN+ will continue its livestreaming of over 350 MLS Live Out-of-Market games for weeks 22 and 23 of the season. The industry-leading sports streaming service will carry 13 matches over the next two weekends beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. with CF Montréal vs. Toronto FC in the Canadian Classique rivalry match.
Upcoming MLS Live on ESPN+ games:
|Fri, Aug 27||7:30 p.m.||CF Montréal vs. Toronto FC|
|Sat, Aug 28||6 p.m.||Red Bulls New York vs. Chicago FC|
|7:30 p.m.||New York City FC vs. New England Revolution|
|8 p.m.||DC United vs. Philadelphia Union|
|9 p.m.||Sporting Kansas City SC vs. Colorado Rapids|
|9 p.m.||Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United FC|
|Sun, Aug 29||10 p.m.||Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Real Salt Lake|
|Fri, Sep 3||7:30 p.m.||Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution|
|7:30 p.m.||Nashville SC vs. New York City FC|
|8 p.m.||Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers|
|Sat, Sep 4||7 p.m.||Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Austin FC|
|7:30 p.m.||Orlando City SC vs. Columbus Crew|
|8 p.m.||FC Cincinnati vs. Inter Miami CF|
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