The NBC telecast of Swansea City-Manchester United posted the highest overnight rating, (.8), in U.S. history for an English Premier League Opener.
Rabid soccer fans in the U.S. are foaming at the mouth to be able to see soccer at its highest level with the Premier League being broadcast on NBC Sports this season. Finally soccer fans get more than just the once a year showing of a random Premier League Match on ESPN 2 in the middle of the night.
I was one of those timid sports fans that was afraid to become attached to soccer because I didn't know where to watch it consistently. I couldn't be happier that many games of the highest level of soccer will be televised on NBC Sports. Now the U.S. can understand soccer a little more and see why it's the worlds most popular sport.
The Western Conference Semifinals Game 7 of the San Jose Sharks vs. the Los Angeles Kings received a (.8) rating, so did Swansea City-Manchester United.
There was a hockey playoff Game 7 with the same rating as a Premier League opener televised in the middle of the night. Can the Premier League post higher overall TV ratings than hockey in the future? I think so.
Some other facts about the opening-day Premier League on NBC Sports from tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com:
NBC Sports Group's three live opening-day Premier League telecasts averaged a .5 overnight rating – up 67% from last season's opening Saturday three-game average (.3 average for one match on ESPN and two on Fox Soccer).
Washington, D.C. topped all U.S. markets for local ratings of NBC's Swansea City-Manchester United telecast. Following is the top ten:
Washington, D.C. (2.2)
Los Angeles (1.2)
Hartford/New Haven (0.9)
Fans streamed more than four million minutes of Premier League action via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets. This is the first time ever that all Premier League games are available at no extra cost (to fans with NBC Sports Network) via live stream.
This the first time that all Premier League games are available on television on the networks of NBCUniversal and the Premier League Extra Time bonus television package. Extra Time is available at no extra cost to fans who receive NBC Sports Network through their cable/satellite/telco providers.