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Viewership Records: Top 6 Most-Watched MLS Cup Finals In History [+Evolution And Impact]




(CTN NEWS) – Since its establishment in 1993, Major League Soccer (MLS) has progressively surged in popularity and prominence within the realm of American sports.

The MLS Cup Final, the pinnacle championship game of the league, has transformed into an annual extravaganza, spotlighting premier soccer talent and captivating the affections of countless fans across the globe.

Throughout its trajectory, a number of MLS Cup Finals have left an indelible mark on American soccer, drawing immense viewership and leaving an enduring legacy in the annals of sports history.

Let’s delve deeper into the five most-watched MLS Cup Finals, accentuating their significance and their pivotal role in molding the league’s appeal.

Viewership Records: Top 6 Most-Watched MLS Cup Finals In History

6. 2016: Toronto FC vs Seattle Sounders

Viewership: 2.0 million | Broadcast: Fox/Unimás

The 2016 MLS Cup Final, pitting Toronto FC against the Seattle Sounders, held significant importance for the league.

This matchup showcased two passionate fan communities and signified the emergence of a fresh champion, as both teams had yet to claim the championship title.

With its broadcast on Fox and Unimás, the final attracted a viewership of 2.0 million, symbolizing the increasing balance within the league and the captivating unpredictability that resonates with sports aficionados.

5. 2001: San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy

Viewership: 2.0 million | Broadcast: ABC

In 2001, the spotlight shone on the fervent soccer rivalry in California, as the San Jose Earthquakes squared off against the LA Galaxy.

With a viewership of 2.0 million on ABC, this clash fueled by rivalry encapsulated the local fervor capable of propelling a league’s prominence, while also highlighting the unwavering commitment of American soccer enthusiasts.

4. 2022: LAFC vs Philadelphia Union

Viewership: 2.2 million | Broadcast: FOX/Univision/TUDN

Moving ahead to the 2020s, the 2022 MLS Cup Final featuring LAFC and the Philadelphia Union underscored the continued surge in the league’s allure.

With broadcasts across various networks, including FOX, Univision, and TUDN, the game garnered a notable viewership of 2.2 million.

This contemporary showdown epitomized the league’s endeavors to broaden its supporter community and solidify its status as a fundamental part of American sports culture.


3. 1998: Chicago Fire vs DC United

Viewership: 2.2 million | Broadcast: ABC

The 1998 MLS Cup Final underwent a captivating transformation as the Chicago Fire emerged as contenders, disrupting the established dominance of DC United.

Garnering a viewership of 2.2 million on ABC, this monumental clash illuminated the league’s maturing competitiveness and offered a glimpse into the array of narratives that upcoming championship matches would interweave into the intricate tapestry of MLS history.

2. 1997: DC United vs Colorado Rapids

Viewership: 2.6 million | Broadcast: ABC

After the triumph of the first-ever championship showdown, the 1997 title match sustained its allure, capturing widespread interest. Once more, the spotlight was on DC United, who were now set to clash with the Colorado Rapids.

With a mesmerizing audience of 2.6 million, ABC aired a remarkable event that highlighted the escalating popularity of American soccer, firmly establishing the MLS Cup Final as a significant fixture on the country’s sports calendar.

1. 1996: DC United vs LA Galaxy

Viewership: 3.1 million | Broadcast: ABC

The 1996 MLS Cup Final marked a pivotal moment in American football history. This inaugural championship game, featuring DC United against the LA Galaxy, laid the groundwork for the league’s subsequent success.

The battle between these prominent MLS teams remained etched in league history as a truly unforgettable occasion, owing to an astounding viewership of 3.1 million on ABC. This moment signaled the dawn of a new era in American sports.

The MLS Cup Finals have distinctly carved a place for themselves in the hearts of millions across a nation where traditional sports have long dominated.

Among these, the five finals that garnered the highest viewership stand out as crucial milestones, affirming soccer’s relevance and importance within the American sports landscape.

Through memorable clashes, burgeoning rivalries, and historic feats, these events have collectively contributed to the growth of soccer.

With the league’s ongoing evolution, it’s only reasonable to anticipate even greater viewership and the emergence of timeless moments in future MLS Cup Finals.


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