MLS TV ratings are much lower in the U.S. than the CFL ratings in Canada. The CFL likely outdraws the MLS in the U.S. also. The MLS average attendance is about half the average in the CFL, and the MLS is known to paper many crowds with promotional tickets. And those 0.0 cable rating on the Fox Soccer Channel don't bode well either! Here is the story from the Sports Business Journal:
David Beckham helped kick up MLS’s attendance and ratings in 2007, but the league wasn’t able to build on that growth in 2008.
This season the league suffered its first decline in average regular-season attendance and television viewership on ESPN2 in three years. Half the teams in the league saw a decline in average attendance in 2008, causing the league’s average attendance to fall by 1.8 percent, or to 16,459 a game.
Attendance remained strong in Toronto, which sold out every game for the second straight season. The league also saw increases in average attendance for the Houston Dynamo, Chivas USA and the New England Revolution.
But those increases were offset by declines in two key markets — Colorado and Dallas. FC Dallas had a league-worst 14 percent drop in average attendance to 13,024. The Colorado Rapids, which are playing in a new MLS stadium that opened in 2007, saw average attendance drop 7.4 percent to 13,659.
The league’s mixed results at the gate were mirrored in its performance on TV. MLS games on ESPN2 averaged a 0.2 cable rating for the third consecutive year, but total average viewers per game fell to 253,000 — down from 289,000 viewers in 2007 and 263,000 in 2006.
On Fox Soccer Channel, which just began getting ratings in October, MLS averaged a 0.1 cable rating and 30,000 viewers over four games. The last game of the season on the network between the Dynamo and Chivas USA delivered a 0.0 cable rating and 24,000 viewers.
A spokesperson for FC Dallas said the team reduced the number of complimentary tickets offered this season and televised all home games for the first time, which affected attendance.