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OSC Weekly Ratings Wrapup

by David Carlson
November 28, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS)

2019 CFL Grey Cup Ratings unknown as of yet

While both the 2018 Grey Cup (.07 demo/200k viewers) and 2017 Cup (.05/237k) made the top 150 cable originals for the Sunday they were played, this year's edition did not reach at least the .03 demo necessary to get on the Top 150 cable shows list.

Top 3 OSC Ratings Stories of 2019

Below are our final, top 3 ratings topics for 2019. Since there will be a lack of OSC leagues with major TV coverage until the XFL kicks off in February, we'll be going into hibernation, and this will be our last article until likely the week before the XFL kicks off. Thanks for reading, and please share the articles if you are enjoying them. Don't forget to follow our Twitter account.

Missed the other top ratings topics of the year? Check out our last two articles for the full top ten (4-6 and 7-10).

3. WNBA ratings falter

The WNBA Finals averaged its smallest average audience in six seasons. After a season that started with ratings being up year over year in the early going, the all-star game ended up down 30% vs. 2018, the overall season ratings were neutral at best, and the playoff ratings finished down overall as well.

2. MLS Ratings down for 2019, with the Cup final dropping by half

It wasn't much better news for MLS, which saw overall ratings drop by 19%, and the playoffs drop by half. The championship game drew half of last year's audience, due in no small part to moving from the dead Saturday in December that only has the Army/Navy football game as big competition, to a Sunday afternoon in November against NFL football.

1. Alliance of American Football previews what the XFL could do in 2020

The biggest story in alternative pro leagues on TV in 2019 was generated by the league that didn't even finish its season, but has a cousin that will be trying to do better in 2020. The AAF debuted with an impressive 3.2 million viewers, and a .90 18-49 rating, by far the highest in both categories for any OSC covered leagues. Even once the season was 6-7 weeks old, the ratings on NFL Network were better than most MLS and WNBA contests.

While the AAF wasn't able to make it, the much better funded XFL will try to do even better starting in February of 2020. Based on their networks alone (FOX, ABC, ESPN and FS1 for most games), it should safely be the #1 OSC league in 2020, just as AAF was in 2019. Whether there will be a 2021 XFL season will be the real story.

2019 OSC Leagues Ratings Summary

LeagueBest Demo RatingFinal Championship Ratings
AAF0.90/3.2m (CBS, 2/9)n/a (folded)
(FOX, 7/7 following WWC Final)
BIG30.20/909k (CBS, 6/22)0.18/674k (CBS, 9/1)
WNBA0.14/499k (ESPN, 10/1, Gm2)0.12/440k (ESPN2, 10/10, Gm5)
MLR0.13/510k (CBS, 6/16)0.13/510k (CBS, 6/16)
PLL0.11/409k (NBC, 6/9)Under 300k Viewers (NBC, 9/21)
AFL0.09/243k (ESPN2, 8/11)0.09/243k (ESPN2, 8/11)
NWSL0.06/155k (ESPN2, 10/20)0.05/166k (ESPN, 10/27)
WTT0.05/409k (CBS, 7/21)n/a (not on rated network)
CFL0.05/164k (ESPN2, 6/15)Unknown (Not in Top 150)

Follow OSC TV and ratings discussion at

NOTE: Don't know what the "demo" is? Unsure of why the different ratings numbers don't match up? Read our explanation of TV ratings in our first article here.

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Major League Soccer Stories from November 28, 2019

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