Epic UEFA Champions League Final on FOX is Second Most-Watched Ever

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

May 24th, 2012

via press release:




US Audience Up +676% Since 2002



New York – Chelsea had been out-played for most of the match, but only trailed Bayern Munich 1-0 in the 2012 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL until lightning struck in the 88th minute and Didier Drogba tied the score with a header off a corner kick.  Thirty minutes of scoreless, dramatic extra-time ensued forcing the most prestigious title in European club soccer to be settled by penalty kicks.  Again, it was Drogba who connected on the game’s final shot giving Chelsea the 4-3 victory and the European crown.


Broadcast in the United States by FOX Sports for the third consecutive year, the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL between Bayern Munich and Chelsea on Saturday (5/19) averaged a 1.1/3 household rating/share with an average audience of 2 million, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research making it the second most-watched ever.  The three UCL Finals broadcast on FOX have averaged 2,049,000 viewers marking a 676% audience increase over the last decade (2002 UCL Final on ESPN2 delivered 264,000 viewers).


The 2012 UCL Final was +10% in rating (1.1 vs. 1.0) and +25% in audience (2 million vs. 1.6 million) compared to the 2010 game, which also featured Bayern Munich (vs. Inter-Milan).  Last year’s match, buoyed by Barcelona and Manchester United, two of the world’s most popular soccer clubs, posted a 1.4/4, with 2.6 million viewers and is the most-watched UCL Final ever in the US.


Additional highlights:

-       Viewing peaked during extra time and ensuing penalty kicks.  The 5:00-5:30 half-hour posted 2.4 million viewers and the last three minutes of the broadcast delivered 2.5 million viewers.

-       The average viewership of the UCL semi-finals on FOX Soccer and FX and the UCL Final on FOX was up +19% over 2011 (806,000 vs. 679,000).

-       The UCL Final was the #6 program on all of television from 2:30-5:30 PM ET on Saturday and delivered more viewers than several other sports events televised last weekend.

-       Proving popular with young men, the game posted a 1.6 rating on Men 18-34, ranking #2 in the 2:30-5:30 PM ET time period, and #3 event of the day.


  • SarahL

    Blue! Blue! Drogba! Cech! We are the Champions of … Europe!

    Spectacular ending to an okay game. Good to see the ratings were solid enough.

  • Bill

    Thanks for this post

  • Gustavo

    I´m wondering what would happend if the final would play FC Barcelona against Real Madrid.The rating would be way better.Sadly didn´t happen.

  • JohnnyRico

    The sport is really growing in this country when without a Barca,Milan,Man U or Real Madrid you can keep stable ratings in the millions.

  • bg

    The Encore on FOX Soccer the same night was also surprisingly did 210K viewers. We still don’t have the live numbers from FOX Deportes. We might see somewhere around 800K-1 million Spanish Viewers on FOX Deportes as well.

  • David Howell

    Considering the lower profile of the two teams involved, those ratings are definitely pretty good.

    Inevitably, the UK viewing figures were a whole lot higher; around 8m overall between two channels (main network ITV1 and sports channel Sky Sports with 6.5m and 1.5m respectively), peaking at 10.6m in the penalty shootout on ITV1 alone.

    Still a long, long way short of what the Super Bowl gets in the US, and I suspect that the Super Bowl might have topped the Champions League final again in global audience (which it didn’t in 2010 and 2011).

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