Just as corporate parent Fox saw the highest viewership in US TV history for a single program, Fox Soccer Channel saw its highest viewership ever for a live soccer match. Airing the Chelsea-Liverpool match live on Super Bowl Sunday, Fox Soccer Channel says it saw an average of 418,000 viewers for the English Premier League contest. The 0.74 rating is the second highest-rated match after a US-Mexico Gold Cup Final in 2009. In addition, Fox Soccer Channel upgraded its presentation on Sunday by using the Fox NFL Sunday set making the entire wraparound production much more presentable as compared to the broom closet set it currently uses.
We have the press release from Fox Soccer Channel.
Los Angeles, CA – Sunday’s Super Bowl on FOX wasn’t the only telecast of the day to set a viewership record. FOX Soccer scored its most-watched telecast ever with its coverage of the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool.
The showdown between the two English heavyweights that began at 11:00 AM ET attracted 418,000 average viewers and 285,000 households, both network-records, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research which has been measuring FOX Soccer since October 2008. The game posted a .74 household coverage-area rating, second-best mark ever for the channel and just shy of the network record set 7/26/09 for the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final between USA-Mexico (.77). The network’s previous audience mark (403,000) came on Super Bowl Sunday last year (Chelsea vs. Arsenal), and prior household mark (267,000) was recorded during the ‘09 Gold Cup Final.
“Like the Super Bowl, we had a great match-up and a great game which is always a formula for success,” said David Nathanson, Executive Vice President & General Manager, FOX Soccer. “We knew this game had big audience potential given the teams, our promotional efforts and the support we received throughout the FOX Sports Media Group. Together we collectively showcased the biggest day in Football on a global scale.”
The match also performed well in key male demographics. FOX Soccer’s Chelsea-Liverpool coverage on Sunday was the top-rated non NFL-related show, second overall in the M25-54 demographic (.90) and third highest-rated overall in M18-49 (.83) on ad-supported cable in the 11:00 AM ET-1:00 PM ET time period.
FOX Soccer kicked off last Sunday (Feb. 6) – The Biggest Day in Football – with a special edition of its weekly pre-match show, SUPER SUNDAY +, live from the set of America’s No. 1 NFL pregame show, FOX NFL SUNDAY. The show was hosted by Christian Miles, with analysts Keith Costigan, Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton, Kyle Martino. They were joined in studio by Temryss Lane and boisterous supporters from both clubs.
SUPER SUNDAY + post-match coverage followed the network’s most-watched event with record numbers of its own, attracting its highest total household viewership ever (166,000 P2+) and M25-54 (86,000) as a post game entity.
Liverpool’s away victory at Stamford Bridge in London came only days after the record breaking transfer of its start striker Fernando Torres to Chelsea. It vaulted the Reds into sixth place in the Premier League standings, and held the Blues back from gaining ground on league leading Manchester United, which fell for the first time this season 2-1 at Wolverhampton.
This Saturday at 7:30a.m. ET, FOX Soccer features another match with tremendous Premier League implications: The Battle for Manchester (Manchester United vs. Manchester City).
More stuff coming up.