Showing just how far football’s popularity is spreading across the US, NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Live Extra have set new highs with coverage of the English Premier League.
For the Manchester United vs. Chelsea Premier League match on 26 August 2013, NBC Sports Network’s telecast averaged 536,000 viewers, the highest so far for the season, admittedly only two weeks old, and ranked second among weekday, early season (prior to December) Premier League football matches on US TV.
The much anticipated yet hugely disappointing match also marked NBCSN’s best weekday audience since the 2012 London Olympics. Viewership peaked at 682,000 viewers from 4.30-4.45pm EST. Among men 18-34, NBCSN’s Premier League average audience of 147,000 topped all Monday sporting events, 18% above the second-most watched telecast in the demographic, namely the Cincinnati vs. St Louis MLB game in prime time on ESPN.
Furthermore, NBC Sports Live Extra’s live stream of the match generated 3,207,658 live minutes and averaged 51.8 minutes per visit, both records for Premier League streaming on NBC Sports Live Extra and, said the broadcaster, comparable to many established US-based sports streams. The 3.2 million live minutes for the match exceeded NBC’s two NFL preseason games this year and every Notre Dame Football stream last season.