FS1, Fox Deportes Net Big Audiences With Champions League Semifinals

Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes notched big audiences with the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals last week, which pushed FC Barcelona and Juventus into the final next month.

FS1’s coverage of the May 13 match in which Series A’s Juventus advanced past defending champion Real Madrid scored with 704,000 viewers on average, including 479,000 adults 18-49, according to Nielsen data.

The audience made the clash the second-most-watched Champions League telecast in both metrics in the national cable network’s history, behind the Feb. 24 round-of-16 match between Manchester City and Barcelona. The latter was the top league match on cable in terms of total audience (779,000) and the 18-49 demo (596,000) since Barcelona beat Manchester United in the 2009 final, televised by ESPN.

On May 12, FS1 tallied 530,000 viewers, including 348,000 adults 18-49. Fox Deportes outpaced its general-market counterpart, with 570,000 watching as the Brazilian Neymar scored twice in Barcelona’s elimination of Bayern Munich in the Spanish-language service’s most-watched Champions League telecast of the 2014-15 season to date.

All told, FS1 recorded a 40% jump with its 2014-15 Champions League coverage, to 355,000 viewers from an average 253,000 the prior season; the 18-49 demo rose 62%, to 229,000 from 141,000.

Next up: the June 6 final from Berlin’s Olympiastadion at 2 p.m. ET on Fox and Fox Deportes. The Juventus-Barcelona match will take aim at the combined 3.1 million — 1.9 million on Fox, 1.2 million on Fox Deportes — viewers who watched Real Madrid top Atletico Madrid to win last year’s tournament. That was up 48% from the combined 2.1 million viewers for Bayern Munich’s win over Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 final.

On Fox, Rob Stone will host the pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage, alongside analysts Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, and Warren Barton.

Fox Deportes’ presentation will feature host Ariel Torrone, alongside Mariano Trujillo, Claudio Suarez, Alvaro Izquierdo, and John Laguna.

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