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Univision’s Liga MX ratings continue to grow in 2014

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Statistics released by Univision Deportes on Thursday paint a picture of the changing demographics in the USA.

The Spanish-language broadcaster boasted higher ratings totals on their networks than in previous years, equaling old records and beating the NBC family of network’s English Premier League coverage this fall and FOX Sports coverage of the UEFA Champions League

According to the statistics provided, Univision Deportes had the most-viewed Apertura season ever with 256,000 viewers per match, a 58 percent spike from last season. Liga MX matches on Univision averaged 847,000 per match, a two percent increase from last year and a nine percent difference between NBC’s coverage. UniMas averaged 801,000 viewers per match, a 29 percent increase from last year.

Maybe the most significant of statistics shows that Liga MX had the youngest median age of any other professional sports on network television. Univision’s statistics put the Liga MX viewing median on their network at 38-years old, younger than the median age for MLB on FOX (60), the NFL on CBS/NBC/FOX (49), the NHL on NBC (49) and the NBA on ABC (44).

Only three days after NBC stated that Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Nov. 22 was the most-watched live EPL match in U.S. history (averaged 1.4 million viewers), Univision hit back by stating that the SuperClasico between Club America and Chivas de Guadalajara on Nov. 1 had an average of 2.1 million viewers, the most-viewed match on a Univision network since 2011.

If the statistics are true, they’re another blow to NBC and the EPL, who are still growing their product in the USA, but are still well behind spanish-language soccer, especially from Liga MX.


What do you think of these statistics? How do you see this affecting soccer in the USA? Do you see this affecting the way foreign leagues market themselves in the USA?

Share your thoughts below.


    • MX makes majority it’s money from American TV and American sponsors. That’s no lie. No one in Uruguay and Argentina watches Liga MX.

      • yup 100 percent true its why all the friendlies and preseason tours are in the US

        hopefully univision starts showing the same kind of love towards MLS with the new contract.

        throw the games on saturday night on unimas before or after a liga MX game.

      • Garber has to listen and learn why MX is winning, first. Then do changes like salary cap, DPs, homegrown players, and do changes to complete for CONCACAF.

  1. Sure, let’s throw some more money at the problem… MLS attendance is at an all-time high, TV viewership is lagging behind. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough star players or Mexican players–the ever-changing schedule and late kick-offs (ET) are part of the issue and local blackouts don’t help either.

    • Attendance is good. But most soccer clubs make their money from TV ratings: TV income from International markets, huge TV ratings = huge jersey sponsorship deal and stadium sponsorship etc…MLS is fault looking like a weak league International and local markets by failing regional competitions (CONCACAF Champions), and having European failures as DPs like Fire’s Dutch striker.

  2. Continuing signing no-name failures as DP, and score average 5 goals a season = Ratings?

    MLS struggle without star-power in most their of teams for ratings. NOTE: “most of their teams.
    MLS modified the DP rules and increase the salary and a DP should be 700k and above.

  3. Liga MX follows the simplest path to success: they respect their fans by playing good football. No gimmicks, no washed out former stars signed for their jersey sales potential, no made up rivalries… just develop good players and play good football. The rest takes care of itself.

    • It’s a little bit easier to do in a country where soccer is a number 1 sport. Whatever is number 2 is probably 10 times smaller.

      • This doesn’t explain everything, but if you just look at the money spent on player contracts in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, and then juxtapose it with MLS, the comparison is almost laughable. And that doesn’t even get into coaching money, facilities, TV contracts, etc.

    • Ronaldinho… but he isn’t washed up.

      but yes the level of competition and team quality is high and they have developed strong club traditions. less marketing gimmicks and more football.

      re: Yevgeniy; ya its easier, but i just don’t get how the popularity of other US Sports requires that the American league has to be so goofy..

    • Didnt they just sign ronaldinho, had he come to MLS then hed be a wash out its a BS double standard that liga MX fans have had since MLS showed up in 96
      the biggest reason liga MX is sucessfull here is because the audience watches a large majority of their matches on OTA not cable .. OTA
      saturday nights in LA Three different OTA channels all showing liga MX
      tv azteca,unimas,and telemundo
      LA Galaxy only on time warner.cable
      this has been my gripe since 96 there no real accesibilty to MLS teams on regular tv
      its why RSL impresses me with their OTA broadcasts it makes a world of difference.
      maybe MLS implements a rule in the future if the game sold out throw it on OTA channels. for the local fanbase.

  4. Want to turn the tide towards MLS? Buy Cubo Torres and go after CURRENT and FUTURE (Not Palencia, Pardo, Blanco, Bravo, Davino, etc) Mexican NT players. Mexico’s coach has shown that going to MLS isnt national team suicide. Yes, it’s that easy. If I’m an MLS team I’d enquire about Jonathan dos Santos or Alan Pulido either buy or loan. Guadalajara might clean house. Id take a shot Angel Reyna, too.

    • You’re absolutely right. League owners and officials still don’t understand their audiences well enough. MLS has been underestimating soccer fans’ intelligence for almost 20 years, assuming we need to know the player’s name already to comprehend how well they can play. They still think this is just about good marketing. It is only about good soccer ! That, and, or, MLS scouts aren’t up to it, not finding the players quick enough.

      Compare it to England, where clubs use breeding grounds like France (or anywhere really, US included) to grab kids in their teens and still raw. They aren’t producing enough good players in the UK but their league is still the best in the world. It’s good scouting, and clubs have an abundance of soccer minds.. They know what real raw talent looks like.

      • How old are you? MLS has been chasing Mexican-American fans since it started with Mexican player signings. It really hasn’t moved the interest needle despite millions spent on them. MLS has had better luck with Central American and even South American fans who are more neutral.

      • Old enough to have been at the Galaxy’s home opener in 1996.

        So tell me, who are the current and future Mexican NT stars that MLS has signed over the years, as martin describes in his post? I’ve seen plenty of guys on the wrong side of 30- Luis Hernandez, Blanco, Marquez, Omar Bravo. And unfortunately, Bofo Bautista.

        What martin is talking about is a strategy spending DP money on legitimate stars in or entering their prime — guys who El Tri fans want to watch — not washouts and mediocre players who happen to be Mexican. The closest I’ve ever seen MLS come to doing this was signing Nery Castillo, although he’d already done his career faceplant by then.

        Read closer, Junior!

      • the thing is that the kind of players that would attract mexican-american fans are almost impossible to get for MLS, we are talking about transfers of 20m dollars of more + Dempsey/Bradley kind of salaries or maybe even more. Guys like Cubo and Pulido wouldn’t get mexican-americans fans interested in the league, you have to aim to the big fish, the Velas, Herreras, Dos Santos and Hernandez, even Ochoa would be incredibly hard to get because you would compite with Club America aka the richest team in North America and one if the richest in the Americas.

      • So if expense is a problem at first for MLS as relates to thecurrent “best of the best” players, then you put your focus on “future” rather than “past”. Look at how closely the hardcores on SBI follow potential prospects of the ilk of Bobby Wood or Rubio Rubin, and I find it impossible to believe that there isn’t a group of Mexican fans — perhaps an substantially bigger one given the popularity of soccer there — who would watch MLS just to track these players.

        I’m not saying it’s a “slam dunk”, or that it would definitely work– only that it has scarcely been explored.

      • Disagree. Blanco was Chicago Fire’s Beckham. He moved the needle and made the team relevant for a few years in Chicago. But Blanco bought into MLS and became a huge personality in the league. It depends if the Mexican player will buy into it and respect MLS. That’s why Rafa Marquez and Nery Castillo failed. (“Failed” is an understatement.)

    • This sounds very reasonable. However, I am not so sure after witnessing the whole Rafa Marquez thing first-hand. It was really a non-event as far as Mexicans at Red Bull Arena. This is before he was stinking it up on the field. He actually started off pretty well (better than Henry). And Rafa was undisputed national team captain at that time. I think most of people who religiously watch Liga MX are still “allergic” to MLS, think it’s beneath them. They would have to bring 10+ big time Mexican players in order to move the needle. Even if preceived quality of MLS reaches the level of perceived quality of Liga MX, most of them will still be attached to Liga MX.

  5. Anyone factor in the time slots?

    Here in PST games go from 4:45 am to about noon for EPL whereas LigaMX is from early afternoon to primetime. I mean, that’s gotta count for something, right?

  6. Not surprised, LigaMX is quality soccer and super easy to watch – antenna tv – even if you don’t comprende español it’s enjoyable. Two short seasons with playoffs per year also keeps the stakes high.

    They have their issues in that league too but all in all it’s closer to what I would wish MLS would aspire to, instead mls is determined to replicate the other american pro sports leagues.

    • First of all, that Chanel Univison Deportes is practically a mexican soccer channel, aka ligaMX.
      What I don’t like about MLS, is that teams like red bull, fc Dallas, earthquakes and rapids won’t help MLS grow. MLS needs serious teams but garber is delusional and is cheap. 🙁 wake up garner

    • Yes, totally agree with this. MLS needs to stop looking at BPL as a model and start looking at other leagues it could inspire to, maybe the second echelon? I consider those to be J-League, K-League, and Liga MX to be in that echelon. If the US is so obsessed with playoffs, let’s have an apertura (Opening Season) and clausura (Closing Season) with two short playoffs as well. Something MLS should toy around with.

      Liga MX had their own version of Thanksgiving futbol to compete with NFL. No clue what the numbers were, but it offers a great alternative to American football. NHL did it with Black Friday. Not saying MLS should play on Thanksgiving, but if it aspires to Liga MX, it could compete with NHL’s Black Friday games.

  7. Am I reading that correctly? Is the median age for MLB on Fox viewers actually 60?

    Jeez! Much as MLS has terrible problems with their TV strategy and ratings, this is a real indictment of American interest in its “national pastime”


    • I’m a big baseball fan (though well under 60) and I’ve been hearing stuff like that for probably 30 years and yet baseball has huge attendance and basically prints money. Slightly above average players get $100m contracts (Kyle Seager). I’d love a day when MLS has such “problems.”

      • I watch plenty of baseball as well… and it’s true that the Dodgers still pack 30k+ in on a random Tuesday no problem. But from what I understand, MLB is a little concerned for the future as they have started to bleed market share. Some of the things they have been looking at to speed up the game would’ve been unthinkable 20 years ago (though some are already in place in high school)

      • same here, my take on it is that people of all ages love to go to MLB games and support teams but who under retirement age has the time and patience to watch (on tv) a lot of baseball?

        MLB has found their way by making money over a 162 game schedule, and tons of government support. still surprised at how much money they throw around at times.

      • I’m curious to see if this “60” age gap is as serious as MLB makes it out to be? I still know plenty of young people (18-35 year old hipsters) who definitely prefer baseball over soccer, way more than soccer fans.

      • Yeah I’m thinking there may be a distortion related to the fact that it is “MLB on Fox” rather than MLB generally. Most baseball fans I know generally consume 90% or more of their baseball by watching their local team rather than the national broadcasts, playoffs excepted. Maybe this isn’t the best sample.

  8. More $ for the lucrative Liga MX. I wouldnt be surprised if MLS is not even in the top 3 Soccer Leagues watched in the US.


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