MLS concerned at poor viewer ratings in New York City
The MLS is posting poor viewing figures in the Big Apple and with the broadcasting deal expiring in 2022, the league needs to find a solution.
New York is the number one metropolitan area in TV markets in the United States and is the also the city the Major League Soccer call home. However, both of New York's MLS teams have been a disaster in terms of TV ratings, despite being accessible in more than 7.3 million households in the area as reported by World Soccer Talk.
To put that into context, national MLS TV broadcast viewership increases at least 4.74% when one of the Los Angeles sides is involved, while on the East Coast viewing figures drop by around 15% every time one of the New York teams is playing.
The numbers are based on English-language cable broadcasts, (ESPN, ESPN2, FS1) where during the 2018 season New York clubs averaged 186,563 viewers, while the rest of the American League totalled an average of 220,083 viewers.
Reasons behind the numbers?
The numbers behind the lack of interest in the New York teams are causing concern at the MLS as the Big Apple is the media capital of the world, and the league is barely visible.
But this could be because of demographics, as Los Angeles has a sports market with a larger Hispanic population, who are generally more passionate about soccer, while New Yorkers enjoy a broad range of different sports, which could result in the MLS being left behind. But with the current TV deal expiring in 2022, broadcasters need to solve this critical market problem in the NYC area.