USMNT’s U-20 World Cup Opener Brings in Impressive TV Viewership
The USMNT U-20’s are currently in New Zealand competition in the 2015 U-20 World Cup. They opened up their World Cup group play with a match against Myanmar. Overall the USMNT was underwhelming and gave up the early lead, but in the second half played better and controlled possession. They came away with a 2-1 win to go to the top of the Group A table. Despite the match starting close to Midnight on Saturday May 30th, the game turned in impressive tv viewership on Fox Sports 1 and NBC Universo.
According to Sports TV Ratings on Twitter, the U-20’s World Cup opener averaged over 300 thousand viewers combined across FS1 and NBC Universo.
The first number of 256k was Fox Sports 1’s average viewership. The second tweet mentions NBC Universo had an average of 47k during their telecast that had a slightly different window as Sports TV Ratings mentioned above. Combined, USMNT U-20’s World Cup opener drew an average of 303,000 viewers throughout the broadcasts.
For starters, this is an strong viewership number. It is even more impressive given that the game started at 12am on the East Coast. 303,000 viewers is more than most of the MLS games in prime time this season on ESPN, FOX Sports 1, and UniMas. The next game the USMNT U-20’s play in is scheduled for a 3am time slot, so the numbers should be lower for then.
Nonetheless, Fox Sports 1 pulled in an impressive audience for their broadcast. The play wasn’t the best by the USMNT, but it’s clear fans are interested in the U-20 team no matter what time their games are on. Moving forward, this shows that all games should be aired on TV like Fox Sports is doing across FS1 and FS2. Other countries aren’t pulling in as high of numbers as the US, but the difference was only 11k on NBC Universo between the USA-Myanmar game and the New Zealand-Ukraine that preceded the US opener.
All in all, the USMNT have three points and sit atop of Group A and their TV ratings game out better than expected so far. It will be interesting to see if their play improves against tougher opponents and if the TV ratings stay at a high level.