No NBCSN, no problem. On Tuesday, NBC announced that Sunday’s wild 2-2 draw between Manchester City and Liverpool was the second most-watched Premier League match on cable on record, and the most-watched on USA. 1.15 million people watched the game over all platforms, which began at 11:30 AM on the east coast.
— NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) April 12, 2022
The only cable match to draw more viewers is the Manchester Derby from seven years ago, which was then announced at 1.1 million viewers. Back then, NBC wasn’t using their “Total Audience Delivery” metric, which includes streaming. The USA viewership alone for City-Liverpool was 1.088 million viewers, a hair under the Derby from 2015. Clear as mud, right?
Notably, this match topped several soccer matches that aired on broadcast TV over the week. CBS aired a pair of midweek Champions League matches with afternoon kick times, which drew 850,000 viewers (Chelsea-Real Madrid) and 658,000 viewers (Manchester City-Atletico Madrid). NBC’s broadcast of Tottenham-Aston Villa on Saturday (12:30 PM ET start) drew 750,000 viewers. MLS aired on both ABC and Fox over the weekend, with a Saturday primetime Fox game between the LA Galaxy and LAFC drawing 477,000 viewers and ABC’s broadcast of Charlotte-Atlanta on Sunday afternoon drawing 450,000 viewers. Fox also aired a USWNT friendly on Saturday afternoon, leading into their MLS broadcast, with 438,000 tuning in for the victory over Uzbekistan.
The first City-Liverpool matchup of the season, back in October, drew 774,000 viewers on NBCSN in the same timeslot. Of course, that match took place in the midst of the NFL season, going head to head with a variety of pregame shows on several networks. The two teams will play again on Saturday morning in the FA Cup semifinal, but it will be stuck behind the ESPN+ paywall.
[Data via Showbuzz Daily]