USA Audience Up 676% As UEFA Champions League Final on FOX is Second Most Watched Ever
Americans love watching soccer on TV. US audience up +676% since 2002. Soccer proves itself a riveting, dynamic and dramatic sport captivating audiences across the nation.
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Chelsea FC had been out-played for most of the match, but only trailed Bayern Munich 1-0 in the 2012 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL until lightning struck in the 88th minute and Didier Drogba tied the score with a header off a corner kick.
Thirty minutes of scoreless, dramatic extra-time ensued, forcing the most prestigious title in European club soccer to be settled by penalty kicks.
Again, it was Drogba who connected on the game’s final shot giving Chelsea the 4-3 victory and the European crown.
Broadcast in the United States by FOX Sports for the third consecutive year, the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL between Bayern Munich and Chelsea on Saturday May 19th averaged a 1.1/3 household rating/share with an average audience of 2 million, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research, making it the second most-watched televised soccer match ever.
The most watched? Last year's UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL match, buoyed by Barcelona and Manchester United, two of the world’s most popular soccer clubs, was viewed by 2.6 million and is the most-watched UCL Final ever in the US. The teams in this year's final were not nearly as well known by American audiences as either Barcelona or Man U.
The three UCL Finals broadcast on FOX have averaged 2,049,000 viewers, marking a 676% audience increase over the last decade. Ten years ago, in 2002, the same soccer match - the UCL Final - aired on ESPN2 and delivered only a fraction of the viewers - a total of 264,000 soccer fans.
The 2012 UCL Final saw a ten percent increase in ratings and a significant twenty-five percent increase in audience compared to 2010.
In terms of real numbers, 2 million people watched this year’s championship, while 1.6 million viewers watch the UEFA Championship in 2012, which featured Bayern Munich vs. Inter-Milan.
When did most people tune in? Word must have traveled and more viewers jumped in front of their TV sets to see the extra time and ensuing penalty kicks. Viewership increased during the end of the match and the last three minutes of the broadcast delivered 2.5 million viewers.
Who watched? While soccer is a family affair, the sport is proving most popular with young men. The game posted a 1.6 rating on Men 18-34, ranking #2 in the 2:30-5:30 PM ET time period, and #3 event of the day. And why not? Where else can you get this heart pumping action that rocks the globe?
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