Should MLS Have A Weekly Friday Game For TV?

Should MLS Have A Weekly Friday Game For TV?

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 24, 2013
  • MLS TV Contracts, NBC Sports

I’ve often wondered what day would be best to highlight Major League Soccer on TV. It seems different times of the year one day can be better than the other. A few years ago, the league had a primetime slot on Thursdays, but that never seemed to catch on as much as I would have liked.

Saturday’s LA Galaxy-Seattle Sounders game averaged 247,000 viewers, making it the most-watched MLS game of the year on the network.  The four Friday games over the last month have averaged 153,000 per game.

NBCSN is averaging 111,000 per game for 31 MLS games. It has seven games to catch up to its final regular-season average of 122,000 on NBCSN in 2012. It would need to average 170,000 viewers per game to catch the 2012 average, but that’s unlikely as two of the three remaining Friday night games involve last-place D.C. United.

Nothing against United here but they aren’t exactly moving the needle like a Seattle, LA or a Portland does at the moment.

That leads me to think that the recent Friday night games on NBC Sports have been a bigger success than the Thursday predecessors. Maybe it has something to do with the network that the games are on, or the current playoff chase that is happening in the league.

But that recent four game stretch has me thinking that maybe for the next year, the league and the folks at NBC should get together on this Friday night deal. It is working as those numbers are an improvement over what they’ve been getting so far this year. Some flexible schedule would also help out as well but we’re probably a year or two away from even being able to dream of that (plus a new TV deal would likely have to include that first).