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Atlanta United’s inaugural game scores highest TV ratings in target demographic

Not the highest viewed soccer game overall, but highest in the most important category.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Atlanta United FC Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The weekends television ratings are in and FS1’s coverage of Atlanta United’s inaugural game did very, very well compared to other soccer games on Sunday and over the weekend. We’ll forgo analyzing a nationally televised soccer game to things like The Walking Dead and only discuss national regular season basketball games as a point of reference.

A review of Sunday’s national televised soccer games: Manchester City/Sunderland, Orlando City/NYCFC, Everton/Tottenham, Athletico Madrid/ Valencia, and a handful of Liga MX games.

FS1’s coverage of ATLUTD vs RBNY beat all of the above in the one statistic that truly matters to advertisers and, ultimately, the TV networks – number of viewers between ages 18 and 49. The demographic is important because viewers between ages 18 and 49 are mostly likely to buy things. The higher this specific number, the more likely companies will be willing to spend money on those time-slots or games in the future.

According to, Atlanta United’s inaugural match drew 212,000 viewers within that demographic and drew a grand total of 375,000 viewers. The numbers themselves aren’t that impressive when compared to the Oklahoma City Thunder/Dallas Mavericks NBA regular season game on TBS, which drew over 1.5 million total viewers and 750,000 viewers between ages 18-49. FS1’s broadcast wasn’t even the highest overall watched soccer game either, trailing Manchester City/Sunderland and Orlando City/NYCFC, who had 412,000 and 411,000 viewers, respectively. But again, within that key demographic, FS1’s broadcast of Atlanta United took the top spot.

Atlanta United’s inaugural game also finished ahead of some of Saturday’s match ups between Bournemouth/Manchester United and Barcelona/Celta Vigo within the target demographic. It also beat out Eibar/Real Madrid on BeIn Sports Español.

Again, these numbers aren’t going to wow the average TV ratings specialist, but it does further exemplify how much attention Atlanta United is getting on a national level when compared to other soccer games, especially within the target demographic for advertisers. As the season continues and people start realizing how fun and exciting it is to watch ATLUTD, those numbers should surely rise. It’ll be interesting to see how ATLUTD does regionally against other sports teams and sporting events in the South.