What NWSL’s big title game audience means, World Series up but struggling: Sports on TV
Staff, 2022-11-01 16:49:37,
College and pro football’s regular seasons are grinding on while the other football — the top-flight American women’s and men’s versions of the so-called “beautiful game” — is wrapping up its seasons.
And one of them is ending the year with an additional reason to pop champagne corks.
The Portland Thorns’ 2-0 win over the Kansas City Current in the National Women’s Soccer League championship game at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., averaged a league-record 915,000 viewers for CBS on Saturday evening.
The match aired against college football and the World Series, too.
“I think 915,000 is impressive (considering) the competition,” said Jon Lewis, who has crunched live sports audience data since 2006 at Sports Media Watch. He added that if the game had been scheduled without football competition or, say, drafting off of Sunday afternoon’s early CBS NFL slate, it probably would have topped 1 million viewers.
It was the first time since the NWSL’s 2013 inception that its championship match was broadcast on a major network in prime time, and the result of that additional spotlight was immediately enormous. And with long-term benefits likely, too.
Last year’s title game, a 2-1 win by the Washington Spirit over the Chicago Red Stars, averaged 525,000 for a noon kickoff on CBS. That game had originally been scheduled for an earlier start in Portland, but criticism led to the match being relocated to Kentucky with a noon Eastern time start.
There was no…
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