English Premier League Preview: Merseyside, North London Derby Weekend on NBCSN

Your comprehensive, interactive EPL statspack is here.

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English Premier League’s World Cup bump arrives

APTOPIX Britain Soccer Premier LeagueConverted: Record numbers of U.S. viewers watched the opening weekend of EPL action that included this Wayne Rooney goal for Manchester United in a losing cause against Swansea City (Associated Press photo).

That World Cup bump I wrote about a couple of weeks ago? It’s here.

NBC said today that:

  • Saturday’s Arsenal-Crystal Palace game on NBC averaged 885,000 viewers and became the most-watched opening weekend match in U.S. history. It out-drew last year’s corresponding fixture by 12 percent.
  • Sunday’s Newcastle-Manchester City game on NBCSN averaged 514,000 viewers, ranking it as the most-watched opening weekend game on cable in U.S. history. It topped the previous record holder in 2012 when ESPN showed the game.
  • All told, 3.3 million watched the five games that aired on NBC and NBCSN, the most ever for the opening weekend of EPL action.
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MLS Weekend Preview: LA Galaxy in Columbus to face Crew, Chivas USA host Vancouver Whitecaps in Carson

Newly-signed Galaxy veteran (if you know what I mean) Alan Gordon and the Galaxy face the Crew in Columbus Saturday at 4:30 p.m. live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, with the hosts scheduled to make “significant announcement” before the game.

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Borja

Meanwhile, lowly Chivas USA have signed Ecuadorian forward Felix Borja, who played three season’s in Mexico with Puebla, on a year-long loan from Ecuador’s LDU Quito.

“We are extremely pleased to add such a gifted, international striker,” said Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera. “Felix’s great experience in some of the other top leagues worldwide will help us not only on the field where we expect him to score and create goals, but also in the locker room where he can help mentor our younger players.”

Borja, 31, played 23 times for his national team and featured at the 2006 World Cup. He also had stints in Germany and Greece.

Also Houston plays Philadelphia at 7:30 tonight on NBCSN, while Real Salt lake and Seattle face off on the same channel at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

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Weekly Soccer Column: NBC’s Barclays Premier League coverage begins Saturday

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Host Rebecca Lowe and NBC returns Saturday with their second season of Barclays Premier League coverage.

Read more in this week’s column about NBC’s coverage plans for the new season.

Wondering what games are on what channel this coming weekend (and for the first three months of the season)? Click here.

Check out a comprehensive team-by-team guide to the new season here.

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Watch: EPL returns Sunday with Arsenal-Manchester City, while NBC’s Coach Lasso/Jason Sudeikis explains the basics of English football for the uninitiated

The traditional curtain-raiser to the EPL season is 7 a.m. Sunday on Fox Sports 1 — the annual Charity shield game that pits the EPL champions, in this case Manchester City against the FA Cup winners, which last season was Arsenal.

NBC’s coverage of the EPL begins the following weekend and while you wait, don’t miss the hilarious video above.

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World Cup Final watch: Where are you going to watch Brazil-Netherlands Saturday and the Germany-Argentina finale Sunday?

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WCwaterfront

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World Cup Watch: Brazil-Germany Semifinal sets record Twitter and Television marks

The Tuesday midday game was watched on ESPN and Univision by a combined average audience of 12.4 million making it the most-viewed World Cup semifinal ever in the U.S.

It was also the highest-rated World Cup game not involving the U.S. ever on ESPN, where records were also set earlier in the tournament for the U.S.-Portugal contest.

Curiously, viewership actually increased as the 7-1 blowout went on making it more like a car wreck on the freeway than a soccer game.

Los Angeles was the eighth highest-rated market in the nation for ESPN, while even more viewers were watching on Univision in LA.

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