Champions League

Champions League earns big US ratings

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid fell short to Bayern Munich in Champions League.
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Check out the special pageantry from the crosstown showdown at Etihad Stadium.

Both Champions League semifinals and the Manchester derby for first place in the Premier League averaged more 1 million television viewers in the US despite weekday afternoon starting times.

The four Champions League semifinals averaged 1,033,000 viewers on FOX's English- and Spanish-language networks, up 29 percent from last year, FOX said Wednesday.

The second leg between Chelsea and Barcelona on FOX Soccer drew 438,000 viewers on April 24, up 71 percent from last year's second leg between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Viewership on FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes combined for 983,000, up 20 percent.

A day later, Bayern Munich's penalty kicks win over Real drew 627,000 on FX, nearly double the 308,000 for last year's semifinal between Manchester United and Schalke. The combined English and Spanish viewers was 1,236,000 - the largest US Champions League audience other than for a final.

Manchester City's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Monday drew 1,033,000 viewers on ESPN, the largest U.S. audience for a Premier League match on cable. The previous high was 610,000 for Arsenal's win over Chelsea on ESPN2 on Dec. 27, 2010.

The game drew an additional 273,000 viewers on ESPN Deportes. The game averaged 87,200 viewers a minute on ESPN3 and WatchESPN for people seeing the game on computers, smart phones, tablets and Xbox.

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