Sports Media

MLS Cup Playoffs TV Audience up 36 Percent

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ESPN’s audience for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs was up 36 percent, ahead of the MLS Cup Final on Sunday at 3pm ET on ABC.

The four single-elimination playoff matches on ESPN and ESPN2 delivered an average audience of 388,000 viewers, up from 286,000 viewers for seven playoff matches on the same networks in 2018, according to Nielsen. It is ESPN’s most-viewed MLS Cup Playoffs since 2012 (392,000 viewers).

Tuesday night’s MLS Western Conference Final on ESPN, a 3-1 Seattle Sounders road victory over LAFC, averaged 389,000 viewers (P2+) a seven percent increase year-over-year. In 2018, the second leg of the Sporting Kansas City-Portland Timbers Western Conference Final averaged 363,000 viewers.

On ESPN Deportes, LAFC-Seattle Sounders averaged 272,000 viewers, making it the most-watched MLS Conference Final match and the second most-viewed MLS match on the 24-hour Spanish-language sports network. A week ago, the LAFC-LA Galaxy Western Conference semifinal scored the network’s most-watched MLS match ever.

MLS Cup Game-by-Game Audiences

Viewers (P2+)
Sat., Oct 19Real Salt Lake vs. Portland TimbersESPNEWS80,000
Sun, Oct 20Minnesota United FC vs. LA GalaxyESPN329,000
Thu, Oct 24Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia UnionESPN2303,000
 LAFC vs. LA GalaxyESPN2/ESPN496,000
Tue, Oct 29LAFC vs. Seattle SoundersESPN389,000