Via MFUSA on Twitter, the overnight TV audience for the UEFA Champions League final has come in, and it’s nothing special: a 1.1 rating on US television, equivalent to around a million homes.
That’s up from last year, when it received a 1.0 share on ESPN, but the game should have benefited from a move to the FOX network and a shift to Saturday afternoon, American time. The final rating will come in on Thursday, but it looks certain not to meet the expectations of the Fox hierarchy, as Fox Sports chairman David Hill said he hoped for a rating of 2.0 to 2.5.
Hill explained why:
“What we’ve discovered with Fox Soccer Channel this year and Fox Soccer Plus has been an incredible eye-opener about the way the audience just keeps building,” Hill said. “So it really became a kind of no-brainer for us to say this game deserves a place on the network.”
I don’t think Saturday’s rating will dampen that view, especially if the World Cup proves to be a ratings success on ABC/ESPN, but it’s worth noting the event didn’t achieve a massive audience by itself. How much that was down to the teams involved is open to question.
(By the way: this is the first of the new “Diary” entries, quick links & commentary on news of note – a feature of the new Pitch Invasion. Let me know if you find these posts worthwhile or not).