The MLS Cup final, which was won by the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, November 10, drew an average audience of just 823,000 on ABC. In addition, the Spanish-language Univision and TUDN drew a combined audience of 447,000.
According to an ESPN press release, the Sounders’ 3-1 victory over Toronto FC was the most-watched MLS Cup match on Disney-operated networks since 2014. Locally, host market Seattle-Tacoma averaged a 13.2 rating, the best MLS Cup rating on record for this market.
The final, however, drew far less last year’s final, between Atlanta United and Portland Timbers, which gained an average audience of 1,563,000 on Fox.
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, last year’s game was broadcast in prime time on Saturday while this year’s game was on Sunday afternoon, in competition with numerous National Football League games. Secondly, Toronto as a Canadian team had its own audience in Canada on TSN. Thirdly, the match-up of Seattle v Toronto was not the most glamorous, with, for example, LAFC v Atlanta United likely to have drawn a far bigger audience.