David Beckham makes Americans watch soccer

Posh’s
hubby helps ESPN set records

ZAP2IT.COM

David
Beckham’s MLS debut may not have been impressive, but it did the job for ESPN.

Nursing an
ankle injury, the English superstar and media sensation played only 16 minutes
in the LA Galaxy’s Saturday (July 21) match against Premiership side Chelsea
FC.
Despite
widespread reports that Beckham’s appearance might be even more limited, the
game averaged 1.468 million viewers, according to figures released by ESPN on
Tuesday. Thus, in his first appearance on the pitch, Beckham helped deliver the
most-watched MLS telecast in the history of ESPN or ESPN2.

A 1996
match between DC United and the San Jose Clash, the soccer league’s first game
ever, held the previous record with only 1.1 million viewers. Not only did
Beckham’s debut trump all previous MLS coverage on ESPN, it drew more viewers
than any ESPN telecast of a Team USA soccer match outside of FIFA World Cup play.

The game
was ad-supported cable’s highest rated of the night among men 18-49 and 25-54.

ESPN will
continue to bank on Beckham’s ball-bending, Spice Girl-marrying star-power in
the weeks to come, telecasting at least five upcoming Galaxy games on ESPN2.