Blog Sports

Fanáticos Eagerly Await Liga MX Playoffs, “La Liguilla”

By Rick Resnick, SVP - Sales Marketing Strategy and Solutions

As the fall (“Apertura”) regular season in Mexico’s Liga MX winds down, it can only mean one thing: the Liga MX playoffs are right around the corner.

Of the 18 Liga MX teams, eight will qualify for the playoffs, known as “La Liguilla” or literally “the mini league,” which begins November 25. The name is apt because history has shown that the playoffs are a brand new season, and each qualifying team has a legitimate shot to win the championship.

Throughout the tournament, Univision Deportes will be viewers’ “Liguilla HQ” not just because of the wall-to-wall studio coverage available leading up to the finals in mid-December. It’s also because the majority of the 14 playoff matches will be aired live on Univision Network, UniMas and/or UDN, with live action streaming on the Univision Deportes App.

In each round, teams play a two-match, home-and-away series, with the higher scoring team (in aggregate) advancing. As of press time, seven of the likely playoff teams –including Club America, Pumas, Toluca, and Tigres – were teams whose home game broadcast rights belong to Univision Deportes.

How popular are Liguilla matches on Univision Deportes? The last Apertura final, on Dec. 14, 2014, delivered an average of 3.0 million Total Viewers and 1.9 million Adults 18-49. To put that in perspective:

  • The match was the most-viewed club soccer match on any U.S. network in 2014, including English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Major League Soccer
  • It drew +113% more Total Viewers and +140% more Adults than the most-viewed EPL match in NBC Networks’ history at the time
  • It bested the 2014 UEFA Champions League final on FOX by +55% and +70%, respectively.
  • It delivered more viewers than every 2014-15 NHL game to that point on NBC and NBCSN
  • It out-delivered 30 of 32 of the 2014-15 NBA games to that point on ESPN and TNT*


Marketers still have time to be a part of the action and engage millions of fanáticos who are dreaming that their team will become the next champions of Mexico.

Fortunately, if those dreams don’t come true in December, they won’t have to wait long for another chance. The spring (“Clausura”) regular season starts in January, and another Liguilla will get hearts racing in May.


*Source: Nielsen, NPM, L+SD data

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