The ratings for the 2013 MLS Cup were pretty disappointing. Actually, disappointing would be putting it kindly considering the 2013 Cup produced the lowest ratings of any Cup game in MLS history. The broadcast had an average audience of 505,000 people, a mark which fell well below the previous smallest audience of 748,000 viewers back in 2010.
How bad is this news? Pretty bad. As World Soccer Talk points out, the 505,000 total trailed an old episode of Everybody Loves Raymond on TBS. The dismal Cup rating also follows an MLS season which saw ratings tumble by 29% on ESPN and 8% on NBCSN.
While there's not too much to analyze here other than the usual "small ratings bad, big ratings good" statement, there was one particularly interesting tidbit worth mentioning. The Spanish broadcast of the 2013 MLS Cup bested the English broadcast by a score of 514,000 viewers on Uni Mas to 505,000 viewers on ESPN, as reported by John Ourand. This is the first time a Spanish broadcast of the MLS Cup has beaten out the English broadcast.
Ourand also compared this year's numbers with those from 2012:
MLS Cup '13 on Uni Mas: 514K viewers. MLS Cup '13 on ESPN: 505K viewers. MLS Cup '12 on ESPN alone: 797K viewers.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) December 10, 2013
What should the MLS do to improve their ugly ratings? They should start by checking out our 5 Ways to Fix MLS Ratings. Anything would be an improvement at this point. Right now there's nowhere for the league to go but up.