April 1, 2013

SKEDBALL: Weekend Sports Ratings

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament rolled on Sunday with two games to select the last Final Four spots.  The two games averaged 19% higher household ratings than last year in the 56 local markets measured by Nielsen (covering 70% of the country).  The second game at 5:00 Sunday almost hit the magic 10.0 rating level, a game which featured one of the ugliest injuries in televised sports history.  After two replays of Louisville’s Kevin Ware breaking his leg immediately after the event, CBS came to its senses and stopped playing the clip.  Kevin Ware has made a place for himself in the history of sports heroes as he urged his team to win the game while feeling the pain of a bone protruding six inches outside his skin.

NBC’s PGA coverage again was burned by heavy rain.  Final round coverage from 3-6 pm Sunday (much of it taped replay from Saturday’s third round) fell 42% from last year to a 1.5 household rating.  The skies cleared and the final few holes were played from 6:30-7:30 pm CT (7:30 ET) on the Golf Channel — with only a 0.5 household rating tuning in.

Earlier in the day, NHL scored only a 1.0 rating nationally.  There was definite interest in Chicago (6.3 rating) and Detroit (4.2) for their own teams on the ice, but the other markets were mostly around a 0.5 rating, again indicating the hyper-local interest in the sport.

FOX and ABC took the day off from sports coverage.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.