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EPL sees best US audience in four years for NBC

The stop-start English Premier League concluded last weekend, and the entire season proved a hit in the US with NBC scoring its highest viewership in four years.

According to data from Nielesn and Adobe Analytics, NBC’s live coverage of the competition averaged a total audience delivery (TAD) of 462,000 viewers per match day. This is the highest total for the Comcast-owned broadcaster since Leicester City’s fairytale 2015/16 season.

It is possible that more viewers in the US decided to tune into the league due to the emergence of Chelsea’s star signing Christian Pulisic (pictured), who is one of the key players for the US national team.

The data shows that viewership was 4% ahead of the previous campaign before the league’s abrupt pause in March, with the season ending at 1% ahead of the 2018/19 season.

This tally does not include viewers on premium OTT service NBC Sports Gold and the recently launched Peacock streamer, or on Spanish Language broarcasts.

The most-watched match of the season was Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat of local rivals Manchester City on March 8 with 1.76 million viewers across all platforms. This was the most watched EPL match in US history, indicating the burgeoning popularity of the league across the Atlantic.

The final day of the season, July 26, saw 1.7 million viewers on linear TV spread across five matches – though this does not include viewers on NBC Sports Gold or Peacock.

In terms of streaming alone, viewers on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app watched 925.3 million minutes, making it the most streamed season in the league’s history, with the season containing four of the ten most-streamed EPL matches of all time.

Even weekday viewing saw a boost, despite the fact that matches typically broadcast in the UK at 8pm would be taking place in the middle of the working day for most Americans. These matches saw an average of 315,000 viewers pre-lockdown and 239,000 post-lockdown.

The report also said that highlights across digital and social media channels were double that of the season before, with more than 200 million views.