The television ratings for ESPN’s broadcast of Toronto FC’s 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in MLS Cup 2017 rose 75 percent above the 2015 edition, the last time the championship game was aired on the network.
The news was similar in Canada, where viewership of TSN's broadcast rose 25 percent from last season.
Based on preliminary Nielsen ratings, Saturday’s telecast is the highest metered market rating for MLS Cup on ESPN networks (or on cable) since 2012, when David Beckham and the LA Galaxy’s win over the Houston Dynamo drew a 0.7.
Good morning. Early #MLSCup ratings info: 0.7 overnight, up +75% from ESPN’s 2015 broadcast and the highest-rated final on cable since 2012.
In Seattle, the game averaged a 7.0 local rating, the highest ever number in that market for an MLS game on ESPN networks.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) December 10, 2017
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Seattle was the top local market with a 7.0 rating, the second-highest local market rating for MLS Cup on ESPN networks since 2006 (Portland’s 7.3 rating in 2015 remains tops). The rest of the top 10:
- Louisville (3.2)
- Columbus (1.7)
- Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News (1.1)
- Raleigh-Durham (1.1)
- Atlanta (1.0)
- Indianapolis (1.0)
- Portland (1.0)
- Austin (0.9)
- Birmingham (0.9)
- Memphis (0.9)
- Philadelphia (0.9)
In Canada, an average of 1.3 million viewers watched TSN's MLS Cup broadcast, with the number peaking around 2 million viewers toward the match's conclusion, according to overnight data from Numeris. The final was the most-watched program in Toronto across all of Saturday.
Here's how the past five years' worth of MLS Cup broadcasts on ESPN stack up:
|Year||Matchup||Metered Market Rating|
|2012||LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo||0.7|
|2013||Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake||0.5|
|2014||LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution||0.6|
|2015||Columbus Crew SC vs. Portland Timbers||0.4|
|2017||Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders||0.7|