NBC went overseas this weekend for its English Premier League coverage as the entire crew traveled to three different stadiums on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to be on site in the UK.  One of those sites was Old Trafford for Sunday’s Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City.  The game ended in a 4-2 victory for the red half of Manchester and it also ended in a record rating for NBCSN.

In fact, the game registers as the most watched EPL game ever on American cable television with 1.1 million viewers.  Via a network press release.  The on-site coverage also provided a nice boost in the viewership for the studio show as well:

Sunday’s NBCSN telecast of Manchester United’s 4-2 victory over Manchester City averaged 1.1 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Premier League match in U.S. cable television history. Viewership peaked in the 11:15-11:30 a.m. ET quarter-hour with 1.3 million viewers. NBCSN featured live on-site coverage from Old Trafford on Sunday, including in-stadium and pitch-side studios, with the entire Premier League announce team working together on-location in the United Kingdom for the first time since NBC Sports Group kicked off its Premier League coverage in August 2013. With their first Manchester Derby win in five attempts, the Red Devils extended their Premier League winning streak to six matches.

NBCSN was the most-watched network on cable among Adults 18-49 during the game’s 11 a.m. -1 p.m. ET window. NBCSN’s Premier League Live pre-match coverage from Old Trafford was the network’s most-watched Premier League studio show of extended length (more than 20 minutes), and second-most watched Premier League studio show overall. 

To date, NBC Sports Group’s Premier League viewership (average of 486,000 viewers) is up 10% compared to this point last season, and up 19% among Adults 18-49. NBCSN has televised four of the five most-watched Premier League matches in U.S. cable history (chart below).

The Top 10 markets for the game were as follows:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Sacramento
  3. Columbus
  4. Denver
  5. Indianapolis
  6. West Palm Beach
  7. New York
  8. Tulsa
  9. Boston
  10. Orlando

With the success of the UK trip this weekend and the positive feedback from fans, you can almost guarantee it’s something NBC will be doing in the final year of their EPL contract next year.  Now that the peacock is more than halfway through its EPL tenure, with new innovations and record ratings, the question will soon become whether or not the network can maintain rights for the league in the longer term.

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