The English Premier has finished its second full week on NBC and NBCSN, and besides a few technological glitches, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The matches have been entertaining, but the highest profile game yet was Manchester United-Chelsea on Monday afternoon. NBCSN boasted record numbers for Monday’s Red vs. Blue game, which was watched by 536,000 viewers on NBCSN. This number of viewers is second only to Manchester United-Tottenham, which drew 540,000 when it aired on Aug. 22, 2011 on ESPN2.
This is a subhead on an NBC press release: “NBC Sports Network Telecast Posts Second-Best Viewership All-Time for Early Season, Weekday Premier League Match.” While that quote has qualifiers galore and kind of reads like a 30 Rock line (“Lemon, in certain lights you’re an 8, using East Coast, over 35 standards, excluding Miami.”), it is a good sign for NBC.
The interest in the Premier League in America is clearly growing. People are figuring out where NBCSN is on their television guide, and a game between two giant clubs that ended in a scoreless draw and aired at 3 p.m. ET on a Monday, was watched by hundreds of thousands.