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NWSL Challenge Cup Championship Posts Stellar Broadcast Numbers

NWSL Challenge Cup Championship Posts Stellar Broadcast Numbers On CBS Breaking The All-Time Viewer Count For NWSL.

CBS broadcasted just two NWSL Challenge Cup matches live on traditional television, the opener and the championship. Just how well did both of these matches draw? The opener averaged 572,000 viewers and the Championship which took place at 12 pm this past Sunday averaged 653,000 viewers.

The championship which was between the Houston Dash and the Chicago Red Stars was the most watched match in the history of the NWSL and is +293% to last years finale which averaged 166,000 viewers.

So what markets were the top-rated for CBS? Here they are according to Steven Goff of the Washington Post.

  1. Norfolk
  2. Nashville
  3. Houston
  4. Chicago
  5. West Palm Beach
  6. Jacksonville
  7. St. Louis
  8. Columbus
  9. Austin
  10. Phoenix

Good set of cities for the NWSL to now to a deep dive into to see the viability of a future franchise.

Both matches are very strong results for the NWSL who by all accounts had a very successful Summer tournament that engaged both fans and league partners. It’s hard to compare CBS results to MLS’s ESPN/FS1 numbers due to the vast difference in household numbers with CBS being an over the air network and ESPN/FS1 being cable networks. That being said, let’s try.

The opener for MLS averaged 464,000 viewers on ESPN, less than the opener for the NWSL. And the highest viewed MLS match, LAFC v Inter Miami, slightly outdrew the NWSL championship with 663,000 viewers on ESPN. Again, hard to compare CBS to cable networks, but the results certainly should warrant more live network airtime to the NWSL in the future. That being said, having the bulk of the Challenge Cup matches stream live on CBS All Access was a strategy to drive users and value to their new digital subscription platform.

Written By

Tanner founded Trifecta Sports in Spring of 2016 and has grown it from a blog into a multi-faceted media entity. He covers the New England Revolution, Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Cannons, New England Patriots, and the Providence College Friars.

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