Fox’s MLS Cup Final Ratings Best Since 1997

Fox’s MLS Cup Final Ratings Best Since 1997

Fox’s broadcast of the 2018 MLS Cup final between Atlanta United and the Portland Timbers drew 1.56 million total viewers in primetime Saturday night, making it the most-watched MLS title game since 1997, the U.S. pro soccer league’s second year of existence.

Viewership for the game — a 2-0 victory for the hometown United in front of an MLS-record crowd of 73,019 at Mercedes-Benz Arena — jumped more than 90% from last year’s final, when Toronto beat Seattle on ESPN in a rematch of the 2016 final. Fox Sports, ESPN and Univision are in the midst of eight-year MLS TV rights deals that include Fox and ESPN alternating broadcasting the final.

According to Nielsen, Saturday’s game peaked at 2.07 million viewers from 10-10:15 PM ET near the end of the match, which United controlled for most of the way.

Fos Sports said the game was its most-streamed MLS event ever, pulling in an average minute audience of 23,212.

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