More than 35 Million Tuned into NBC Sports’ Premier League TV Coverage in 2018-19
Average Match Viewership Up 2% From Last Season; The Men in Blazers Show Delivers Most-Watched Season Ever
Washington, D.C. Tops Local Market Ratings for Full Season
Innovative Season of Coverage Included Expanded Fan Fest Events, Special Films on Liverpool and Manchester United, Collaboration with Sky Sports, Special YouTube Shows & Free-to-Play “Premier League Pick ‘Em” Game
STAMFORD, Conn. — May 14, 2019 – NBC Sports’ presentation of an epic Championship Sunday, featuring all 10 Premier League matches on the platforms of NBCUniversal (10 a.m.-Noon ET), registered a record Total Audience Delivery of 2.2 million viewers – marking the most-watched Championship Sunday in U.S. TV history, according to official national data provided by Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics. Sunday’s viewership milestone, which is up 19% from last year’s season finale (1.8 million), concludes NBC Sports’ year of innovative Premier League coverage.
With the Premier League title coming down to the season’s final day for the first time in five years, the NBC game (second-place Liverpool hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers) and the NBCSN match (first-place Manchester City at Brighton & Hove Albion) averaged a TAD of 1.3 million viewers – the best viewership ever on U.S. TV for the top two matches on Championship Sunday.
For the season, more than 35 million Americans watched NBC Sports’ presentation of the Premier League on the networks of NBCUniversal, with hundreds of thousands more streaming live game action on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold’s subscription-based “Premier League Pass.”
In its six seasons presenting the Premier League (since 2013), NBC Sports has reached an average of 34.6 million TV viewers per season – more than doubling the prior season (13.3 million on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Soccer, 2012-13).
Premier League Viewership Highlights
- Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday, March 10 posted a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) average of 1.68 million viewers across all platforms – NBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and Telemundo – to rank as the second most-watched live Premier League match in U.S. history (1.72 million for the Manchester Derby in April 2018 on NBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and Telemundo).
- NBC Sports Group averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 457,000 per match window – up 2% from last season (449,000) (does not include Spanish-language telecasts or NBC Sports Gold streaming).
- NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app delivered 879 million live streaming minutes – the most all time -- during the 2018-19 season. In addition, seven of the 10 most-streamed Premier League matches in the U.S. took place in 2018-19.
- Debut episodes of THE MEN IN BLAZERS SHOW, hosted by popular soccer personalities Michael Davies and Roger Bennett, delivered its most-watched season ever, averaging 133,000 viewers – up 53% from 2017-18.
- Since kicking off its Premier League coverage in August 2013, NBC Sports Group has televised 18 of the 20 most-watched live Premier League matches ever in the U.S. across all platforms.
- The new Premier League Pick ‘Em game on the NBC Sports Predictor app (details below), generated 1.2 million entries by more than 158,000 unique participants since the game’s launch on December 26.
Local TV Ratings
Following are the U.S. TV markets with the highest average season-long ratings on Premier League telecasts on NBC/NBCSN, and NBC only (note: all NBC games, other than on “Championship Sunday,” started at 12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT or later, while some NBCSN games kicked off as early as 7 am ET/4 am PT):
Top 10 Local Market Ratings, NBC/NBCSN
|1. Washington, D.C.|
|3. West Palm Beach|
|T4. Fort Myers|
|9. San Francisco|
Top 10 Local Market Ratings, NBC only
|1. Washington, D.C.|
|T2. Fort Myers|
|7. New Orleans|
|9. Las Vegas|
Throughout the season, NBC Sports rolled out a wide range of innovations, allowing viewers to enjoy and experience the game in new and exciting ways. Among the highlights:
- “PREMIER LEAGUE MORNINGS LIVE” FAN FESTIVAL EXPANSION: NBC Sports and the Premier League partnered to present three fan festivals this season (Washington D.C., New York & Boston), concluded by the first two-day “Premier League Mornings Live’ supporter event in the shadow of Fenway Park’s iconic “Green Monster” in Boston. The two-day event in late March attracted more than 12,000 fans and featured Premier League-themed activities, events, merchandise giveaways, food, and special guest appearances.
- NBC SPORTS & MANCHESTER UNITED PRESENT “THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:” In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Manchester United’s historic 1998-99 season, NBC Sports co-produced with Manchester United the two-hour movie “The Impossible Dream,” which recounted the club’s unprecedented run to the three most prestigious club trophies an English team can win (the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League).
- EXCLUSIVE “360” PORTRAIT OF LIVERPOOL FC WITH “IN THE SHADOW OF THE KOP” MULTIPLATFORM SERIES: In the midst of Liverpool FC’s incredible 2018-19 season, NBC Sports debuted “In the Shadow of The Kop,” an exclusive, in-depth multiplatform series highlighting Liverpool’s unique connection to their supporters, rich history, and return to form as one of England’s most dominant clubs. Roger Bennett of The Men in Blazers and host of the series, traveled to Liverpool to report on and chronicle the club.
- SKY SPORTS INTEGRATIONS: In their first major sports collaboration on U.S. TV since Comcast acquired Sky, NBC Sports and Sky Sports News combined to present an extensive “Premier League Transfer Deadline Day Special” for U.S. viewers on January 31. NBCSN presented six hours of live coverage for the in-season transfer deadline day. On March 4, NBCSN added a simulcast of Sky Sports News to its programming lineup each weekday at 11 a.m. ET. Throughout the second half of the season, NBC Sports integrated Sky Sports talent, exclusive content and interviews into its coverage.
- THREE NEW DIGITAL SHOWS EXCLUSIVE TO YOUTUBE: Three new weekly YouTube shows launched this season, exclusively featuring NBC Sports’ on-air team. In the fall, “The Lowe Down” premiered, with Rebecca Lowe offering her take on the top Premier League moments of the week followed by a reversal of the NBC Sports team’s TV roles, as she answered hot topic questions posed by her on-set colleagues. In addition, the “Inside the Mind” series launched at the end of 2018 with hosts including Arlo White and Lee Dixon conducting in-depth interviews with some of the Premier League’s most prominent stars. In the spring, “Tactics Session” debuted, featuring Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino, and Robbie Mustoe offering comprehensive breakdowns of key goals, plays and tactics.
- ROAD TRIP KICKS OFF THE SEASON: NBC Sports’ U.S.-based Premier League team once again opened the season on the road, as the entire announce team worked together on-location in the United Kingdom for the kickoff of the 2018-19 season. Immersive Premier League coverage was presented on-site from the U.K. across the season’s opening three days from four different grounds featuring on-site studios for pre-match, halftime and post-game shows as well as pitch-side locations only a few feet from the playing field.
- NBC SPORTS LAUNCHES PREDICTOR APP WITH PREMIER LEAGUE PICK ‘EM: In December 2018, NBC Sports launched a new free-to-play NBC Sports Predictor games app, partnering with Boom Fantasy. Premier League Pick ‘Em debuted as the first game on the app on December 26 alongside the Premier League’s exciting slate of traditional Boxing Day matches. Each match week, Premier League Pick ‘Em offered $5,000 in guaranteed cash prizes, with a $50,000 grand prize for a “perfect week” – picking the correct scores of all five featured Premier League matches in that match week’s competition.
- ARLO, LEE & GRAEME’S “EXCELLENT ADVENTURE” RETURNS: On Saturday, Jan. 12, lead play-by-play commentator Arlo White and analysts Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux called back-to-back matches in London with West Ham v. Arsenal at London Stadium, followed by Chelsea v. Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. The trio traveled past several London landmarks between matches, enjoying passing views of Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey on their way to Stamford Bridge.
- NBC SPORTS GOLD ENHANCES “PREMIER LEAGUE PASS”: With 150 live matches and an unprecedented 1,000+ hours of shoulder programming and new shows, NBC Sports Gold debuted additional “Premier League Pass” content, including Gold Premier League Mosaic (a multi-match stream featuring all concurrent live matches on NBC Sports Gold on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET) and Goal Rush (a RedZone-like program with live look-ins on the best action from all five Premier League matches in that Saturday 10 a.m. ET window).
The 2019-20 Premier League season kicks off in mid-August.