US men's soccer debut game on TNT draws 416,000 viewers
NEW YORK (AP) — The first English-language television broadcast of the U.S. men’s soccer team in its new media contract was seen by 416,000 viewers on TNT.
Last Saturday’s 0-0 exhibition draw against Colombia, which started at 7:37 p.m. EST, was seen by 540,000 in its Spanish-language broadcast on Telemundo for a combined audience of 956,000, according to Nielsen. NBC said an additional 33,000 streamed the Spanish telecast on Peacock, raising the Spanish audience to 573,000 and the overall to 989,000.
The first men’s game under the contract was a 2-1 friendly loss to Serbia on Jan. 25 .It started at 10:07 p.m. EST and was streamed with English commentary on HBO Max, which did not release viewer figures. That match was seen by 76,000 on Telemundo and by 25,000 on Telexitos, like Telemundo a division of Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, for a total of 101,000.
The U.S. Soccer Federation started eight-year broadcast agreements last month with Warner Bros. Discovery Sports for English-language rights and Telemundo for Spanish-language rights.
ESPN and Fox had shared the USSF's English-language rights from 2014 through last year, and TelevisaUnivision had held Spanish-language rights.
While the Americans’ four World Cup matches in November and December averaged 12.2 million viewers on Fox, their 27 games on rated English-language networks from the start of 2020 through last fall averaged 668,000, according to Nielsen.
The U.S. team averaged 2.45 million viewers during the World Cup on Telemundo, double its 1.02 million average for 40 matches on Spanish-language networks during the three years ahead of the tournament, Nielsen said.
The first two games of the U.S. women’s team under the new contracts were televised in English on HBO Max. Both games were exhibitions at New Zealand that kicked off at 10 p.m. EST, a 4-0 win on Jan. 17 and a 5-0 victory three days later. The Jan. 17 match was seen by 26,000 on Universo. The Jan. 22 game was seen by 33,000 on Universo and by 22,000 on Telexitos for a total of 55,000.
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