MLG exceeds renowned sports events in young male viewership

Posted by Julian "hattfatt" Koch at 19 July 2012 12:22

When MLG and other eSports corporations signed deals with CBS many people expected things to go uphill for the industry. Looking at the numbers from the latest MLG event compared to conventional sports events on cable, it seems like they already are on a good way.

On Championship Sunday of MLG Anaheim co-owner Sundance DiGiovanni posted “Every viewing record in the history of ever just got sh*t on.‪ #MLGAnaheim‬” on his twitter account. A journalist posted an article that announced that MLG might find its way to TV due to its partnership with CBS Interactive, which was debunked by DiGiovanni himself the very day.
That said, things might not be too far off once you compare the viewership numbers from the day these two statements were being made to more conventional American sporting events.

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In the target group of 18-24 year-old males, MLG ranks higher than supposedly renowned, traditional US events such as the NFL Draft, the NBA All Star game, and the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl, one of the most prestigious matches in College Football with over a century of history, was outclassed by the 1.35 million unique viewers in that age group that MLG had.

These numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt, though. For one, the numbers of the other events are generated mostly from the US demographic, while MLG was streamed internationally. That adds to the general vagueness of Nielsen ratings. Secondly, MLG’s free to watch stream is compared to cable programs. That alone can boost the amount of unique viewers excessively. Finally, there's the factor of MLG being a multi-game show that, even on Championship Sunday only, spans over more hours than the conventional sports programs mentioned in the statistics.