MLS Cup 2017 television ratings on ESPN rise 75 percent over 2015 edition

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.

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

Match highlights: