Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on ABC and ESPN Networks Begin Sunday

MLS

Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on ABC and ESPN Networks Begin Sunday

MLS 2021 regular season audience up 15 percent

ESPN will kick off its coverage of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs with an ABC-ESPN doubleheader on Sunday, Nov. 21: New York City FC vs. Atlanta United at 3 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN Deportes, followed by Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United FC at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. ABC and ESPN will combine to televise six MLS playoff matches, including the MLS Cup Saturday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. on ABC.

ABC will broadcast four matches, while ESPN will carry two. The Spanish-language telecasts of five playoff matches (not including MLS Cup) will be on ESPN Deportes. All live games will be available on the ESPN App.

ESPN’s lead MLS commentator team – Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman – will call their third MLS Cup Playoffs and be in the booth for ABC’s four playoff matches. Adrian Healey and Alejandro Moreno will call ESPN’s MLS Cup Playoff matches. ESPN Deportes matches this Sunday will feature Richard Mendez and Alex Pareja on New York City-Atlanta United, with Mauricio Pedroza and Herculez Gomez commentating on Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United.

2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes:

Date Time (ET) Event Networks
Sun, Nov 21 3 p.m. New York City FC vs. Atlanta United

Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman

Richard Mendez and Alex Pareja

ABC / ESPN Deportes
  5:30 p.m. Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United

Adrian Healey and Alejandro Moreno

Mauricio Pedroza and Herculez Gomez

ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Sun, Nov 28 3 p.m. Conference Semifinals

Champion and Twellman

ABC / ESPN Deportes
  5:30 p.m. Conference Semifinals

Healey and Moreno

ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Sun, Dec 4 3 p.m. Conference Final

Champion and Twellman

ABC / ESPN Deportes
Sat, Dec 11 3 p.m. MLS Cup

Champion and Twellman

ABC

ESPN.com Digital: www.espn.com/soccer, the industry-leading global soccer news, and information platform, will provide extensive coverage of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup playoffs. Reporters Jeff CarlisleKyle Bonagura, and Caitlin Murray will headline the outlet’s postseason coverage. Highlights of coverage include:

  • Previews and predictions of every match in every round of the playoffs
  • Post-match reaction and analysis from select Round One and the conference semifinals, and post-match reports from the conference finals and MLS Cup
  • Originally reported features from ESPN’s Bonagura, Murray, Dan Hajducky, and Carlisle, on the Pacific Northwest’s longstanding dominance of the Western Conference; an in-depth look at the teams contesting the final, and a scene-setter from MLS Cup, documenting the buzz and buildup of the biggest match of the MLS season.

2021 MLS on ABC and ESPN Networks Nets Double-digit Increase in Viewership

ABC and ESPN’s English and Spanish language television coverage of Major League Soccer in 2021 scored a 15 percent increase in the audience during the 2021 regular season, according to Nielsen. The 33 matches across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes delivered an average audience of 295,000 viewers (P2+), up from 257,000 viewers for 39 games in 2020.

The 33 matches on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 – the company’s English-language linear television networks – delivered had an average audience of 273,000 viewers, a 17 percent increase in 2021 compared to the 233,000 viewers for 39 matches in 2020.

Top-Five Matches:

Date Match Networks Viewers (P2+)
May 9, 2021 Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC ABC, ESPN Deportes 642,000
May 9, 2021 Inter Miami CF vs. Atlanta United ABC, ESPN Deportes 588,000
Jun 20, 2021 Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union ESPN, ESPN Deportes 585,000
Apr 18, 2021 Inter Miami CF vs. LA Galaxy ABC, ESPN Deportes 558,000
Apr 24, 2021 LAFC vs. Seattle Sounders FC ESPN, ESPN Deportes 534,000

The top-10 MLS on ESPN markets: Seattle-Tacoma (0.5), Atlanta (0.3), Portland (0.3), Columbus (0.3), Austin (0.3), Kansas City (0.3), Cincinnati (0.2), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (0.2), Nashville (0.2) and West Palm Beach (0.2).

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