FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
NBC SPORTS GROUP SETS VIEWERSHIP & LIVE STREAMING RECORDS FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
Record 36+ Million Americans Tuned In as Additional Saturday 10 AM ET Matches Broadened Coverage
Average Viewership Up 7% Over Prior Record Set Last Season
NBC Sports Group Debuted Documentaries & Show-Length Interviews on Topics Ranging from Bournemouth and Crystal Palace to Sir Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney, and Jose Mourinho
Record 613 Million Minutes of Live Premier League Action Streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra – More than Doubling Last Season
Washington DC, Hartford, West Palm Beach, Boston, Philadelphia & Baltimore Top Local Market Ratings for Full Season
STAMFORD, Conn. — May 18, 2016 – Highlighted by a most unlikely 5,000-to-1 shot champion in Leicester City, innovative story-telling and expansive interviews, and a new package of matches on Saturdays at 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive season-long coverage of the Premier League produced numerous viewership and consumption milestones for the 2015-16 season.
NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2015-16 Premier League season – which concluded yesterday with the rescheduled Manchester United-Bournemouth match — reached more than 36 million viewers, a record and an increase of 26% over last season (28.7 million).
For the third consecutive year, NBC Sports Group set a record for average viewership. Across all networks, NBC Sports Group averaged 514,000 viewers per match window – up 7% from last season’s then-record average (479,000).
NBC Sports Live Extra saw 118% growth over last season’s record in live minutes streamed (full details below), and this season delivered 9 of the 10 most-streamed Premier League matches ever.
Throughout the season, NBC Sports Group rolled out a wide-range of innovations in its coverage, allowing viewers to enjoy the game in more ways and on more platforms than ever before. Among the highlights:
- BEHIND THE BADGE: NBCSN gave viewers an unprecedented mid-season, behind-the-scenes look at a Premier League club with the debut of Premier LeagueBehind the Badge: Crystal Palace FC in January. Narrated by BBC presenter and former English footballer Gary Lineker, the four-part series followed an intriguing mix of ownership, players, coaches, and support staff, chronicling their daily lives and routines.
- SPOTLIGHT ON LEICESTER CITY: NBC Sports Group highlighted the remarkable story of Leicester City with marketing, social, and digital content, as the Foxes became the most unlikely champions in the history of the Premier League. Coverage included The Champions: The Leicester City Story, a one-hour special on NBCSN hosted by the Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett, short-form videos from NBC Sports Digital Shorts including a rapid-fire recap of their journey and a look at the odds, and commentary on other NBC Sports Group properties including NHL on NBC and NASCAR America.
- ADDITIONAL MATCHES ON SATURDAY MORNINGS: Weekly Premier League match coverage on USA Network was added this season. USA Network televised 39 Premier League games — most during the multi-match Saturday 10 a.m. ET window, allowing fans to watch two live TV matches at that time: one game on NBCSN and one on USA.
- U.K. TRIP 2.0: For the second year, NBC Sports Group had its commentary team based in the U.K. for four days of full on-site match coverage. Premier League analysts Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe each called a match with lead Premier League play-by-play announcer Arlo White, marking the first Premier League match call for each with NBC Sports Group. They joined NBC’s UK-based team of Lee Dixon, Graeme Le Saux and Steve Bower for more than 21 hours of live on-site Premier League coverage across the four days in April.
- THE MEN IN BLAZERS SHOW: The show, hosted by Michael Daviesand Roger Bennett, celebrated a second season, which included an interview with Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States, and a “BlazerCon” special, chronicling the two-day soccer immersion hosted by Bennett and Davies in Brooklyn, N.Y. Among the highlights of the special, Premier League host Rebecca Lowe interviewed Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore plus panel discussions with notable guests including Liverpool CEO Ian Arye, Crystal Palace Co-Owner Steve Parish, Manchester City FC CEO Ferran Soriano, Bournemouth AFC Chairman Jeff Mostyn, Southampton FC Chairman Ralph Krueger, and U.S. Women’s National Team members Ali Krieger, Heather O’Reilly, and Becky Sauerbrunn.
- PREMIER LEAGUE DOWNLOAD: NBC Sports Group continued to feature compelling stories from Premier League clubs, players, managers, and fans in its Premier League Download Highlights included Rebecca Lowe interviewing legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson; in-depth interviews with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp; a spotlight on Bournemouth; and a look at Manchester United and England national team captain Wayne Rooney beyond the pitch.
- PREMIER LEAGUE BREAKAWAY: In December, NBC Sports Group brought back its Premier League Breakaway program, a special two-hour show featuring RedZone-like live look-ins on the best action from all five Premier League matches in the 10 a.m. ET window. Later, in April, NBCSN featured Relegation Breakaway, with live look-ins at the games featuring clubs fighting to avoid relegation.
- FIRST-EVER BROADCAST DOUBLEHEADER: In December, NBC hosted the first ever Premier League doubleheader on a U.S. broadcast network featuring Newcastle v. Everton and Southampton v. Arsenal back-to-back.
Premier League Viewership Records & Milestones
- NBC Sports Group averaged 514,000 viewers per match window – up 7% from last season’s average (479,000). Last season’s figure was up 9% from the then-record average in NBC Sports Group’s debut Premier League season (438,000 in 2013-14). This year’s average is up 134% from the season prior to NBC Sports Group’s debut (220,000 viewers on ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX Soccer in 2012-13).
- In three years televising the Premier League, 8 of the 10 most-watched live Premier League matches in U.S. history have aired on NBC – including four during the 2015-16 season (chart below).
- NBCSN has televised 14 of the 15 most-watched Premier League matches ever on cable in the U.S. – including three this season (chart below).
- NBC’s broadcast of Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City on March 20 averaged 1.16 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Manchester Derby in U.S. history.
- The August 8 Chelsea-Swansea City match on NBC averaged 1 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched opening weekend game in U.S. history.
- The August 8 Manchester United-Tottenham match on NBCSN ranked as the most-watched opening weekend match on cable in U.S. history (626,000 viewers).
- The August 16 Chelsea-Manchester City match averaged 818,000 viewers on NBCSN to rank as the most-watched August Premier League match in U.S. cable television history.
Premier League Streaming Milestones
- The 2015-16 Premier League season delivered 613 million minutes and 2.6 million unique users on NBC Sports Live Extra, up 118% and 26%, respectively, from last season.
- NBC Sports Live Extra coverage on Saturday, March 5 (eight matches), set a single-day Premier League live-streaming record for minutes (13.8 million).
- Chelsea v. Tottenham on May 2 ranks as NBC Sports Live Extra’s most-streamed match ever in unique users (145,000) and live minutes (8.5 million), followed by Manchester United v. Leicester City (May 1), with more than 143,000 unique users and 7.1 million minutes. The May 2 loss by Tottenham clinched the historic Premier League championship by Leicester City.
Most-Watched Live Premier League Matches in U.S. History
NBC Sports Group has televised 12 of the 15 most-watched live Premier League matches in U.S. television history, including four this past season. The top 15:
|11/22/14||Arsenal-Man United||NBC||1.41 million|
|2/5/12||Chelsea-Man United||FOX||1.38 million|
|1/31/15||Chelsea-Man City||NBC||1.35 million|
|10/26/14||Man United-Chelsea||NBC||1.29 million|
|1/22/12||Man United-Arsenal||FOX||1.26 million|
|9/12/15||Man United-Liverpool||NBC||1.25 million|
|2/8/14||Cardiff-Swansea City||NBC||1.24 million|
|1/23/16||West Ham-Man City||NBC||1.16 million|
|3/20/16||Man City-Man United||NBC||1.16 million|
|4/12/15||Man United-Man City||NBCSN||1.13 million|
|1/11/14||Man United-Swansea City||NBC||1.10 million|
|11/7/15||Stoke City-Chelsea||NBC||1.07 million|
|2/22/14||Crystal Palace-Man United||NBC||1.06 million|
|4/30/12||Man City-Man United||ESPN||1.03 million|
Most-Viewed Premier League Matches on Cable in U.S. History
NBCSN has televised 14 of the 15 most-watched live Premier League matches in U.S. cable history, including three this past season. The top 15:
|4/12/15||Manchester United-Manchester City||NBCSN||1.13 million|
|4/30/12||Manchester City-Manchester United||ESPN||1.03 million|
|1/19/14||Chelsea-Manchester United||NBCSN||1.02 million|
|5/1/16||Man United-Leicester City||NBCSN||908,000|
|9/22/13||Man City-Man United||NBCSN||852,000|
|11/2/14||Man City-Man United||NBCSN||826,000|
Local TV Ratings
Following are the U.S. TV markets with the highest average season-long ratings on all Premier League telecasts (NBCSN, USA Network, and NBC combined), and NBC only (note: all NBC games, other than on “Championship Sunday,” started at 12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT or later, while some NBCSN games kicked off as early as 7 am ET/4 am PT):
Top 15 Local Market Ratings, NBC, NBCSN & USA Network combined
|1. Washington, D.C.||9. Columbus|
|2. Hartford||10. Norfolk|
|3. West Palm Beach||T11. Chicago|
|4. Boston||T11. Denver|
|T5. Philadelphia||T11. Tulsa|
|T5. Baltimore||T14. Atlanta|
|7. New York||T14. Miami|
Top 15 Local Market Ratings, NBC only
|1. Seattle||9. Columbus|
|2. West Palm Beach||10. Baltimore|
|3. Dallas||T11. Washington, D.C.|
|4. Louisville||T11. Denver|
|5. Tulsa||13. Sacramento|
|T6. Nashville||14. Hartford|
|T6. Norfolk||15. Greenville|
The 2016-17 Premier League season kicks off in mid-August.
For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com (http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com)
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–