May 28, 2013

SKEDBALL: Weekend Sports Ratings

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The NBA playoffs are really starting to lose steam, as the games this weekend were generally about 30% down from last year (or about two full household rating points lower).  The ratings below are household ratings from the 56 television markets with local Nielsen meters for Saturday May 25, Sunday May 26 and Monday May 27, 2013.  (The 56 markets out of 210 total cover about 70% of the US television population.)


ESPN Sat 9:00 pm San Antonio-Memphis 3.9 rating (-20% from San Antonio-OKC 4.9 rating last year on TNT at 8:30 pm)

TNT Sun 8:30 pm Miami-Indianapolis 5.7 rating (-27% from Miami-Boston 7.9 rating last year on ESPN)

ESPN Mon 9:00 pm San Antonio-Memphis 4.1 rating (-37% from OKC-San Antonio 6.6 rating last year on TNT)

PLAYOFF WEEKEND #6 (3 games) 4.57 average rating (-29% from 6.47 rating for comparable games last year)


A lot of auto racing this weekend, as NASCAR remains the prime attraction (inexplicably).  The Sunday night Coca-Cola 600 on FOX matched last year’s rating and was close to the new normal for NBA playoff games this time of year (a 4 household rating).  The Indy 500 earlier in the day on ABC was a few ticks lower than NASCAR, down a small 5% from last year’s Indy 500.  Moving the Monaco Grand Prix from SPEED to NBC Saturday morning resulted in an impressive 191% year-over-year increase.


ABC Sat 2:45 pm Nationwide Charlotte 300 1.4 rating (-12% from 1.6 rating last year)

FOX Sun 6:30 pm Coca-Cola 600 4.1 rating (unchanged from last year)

INDY 500

ABC Sun 12:00 pm 3.7 rating (-5% from 3.9 rating from last year)


NBC Sat 8:00 am Monaco Grand Prix 1.25 rating (+191% from 0.43 rating on SPEED last year)


NHL continues to bounce around the high-1 to 2 rating range.  Most impressively, NBC Sports Network turned in a rating Monday night that virtually matched an NBC NHL rating Saturday night.  NBC Sports Network has the opportunity to go to around a 3 rating or more tonight and tomorrow night, with two Game 7 Western Conference Semifinals in a row.

NHL — Playoff Weekend #5 Semifinals

NBC Sat 8:00 pm Detroit-Chicago 2.0 rating (no comparable game last year)

NBC Sports Network Sat 5:30 pm NY Rangers-Boston 1.47 rating (no comparable game last year)

NBC Sports Network Sun 7:30 pm Los Angeles-San Jose 0.70 rating (-48% from Philadelphia-New Jersey 1.34 rating last year on May 6 at 7:30 pm)

NBC Sports Network Mon 8:00 pm Chicago-Detroit 1.98 rating (+50% from Washington-NY Rangers 1.32 rating last year on May 7 at 7:30 pm)

COMBINED PLAYOFF COVERAGE (4 games) 1.54 rating (no relevant comparison)



MLB turns in another 26% decline from last year.

MLB — Regular Season Week #8

FOX Sat 7:15 pm MIA-CHW, OAK-HOU, STL-LAD, ATL-NYM or PHI-WAS 1.7 rating (-26% from 2.3 rating last year at 7:15 pm with 5 game regional)


Golf bumbles along with tournaments that don’t feature Tiger Woods.

PGA — The Colonial

CBS Sat 3:00 pm Third Round 1.1 rating (-8% from 1.2 rating last year)

CBS Sun 3:00 pm Final Round 1.7 rating (unchanged from last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 1.4 rating (-3% from 1.45 rating last year)

SENIOR PGA — Championship

NBC Sat 3:30 pm Third Round 0.44 rating (+2% from 0.43 rating last year)

NBC Sun 3:00 pm Final Round 0.65 rating (+30% from 0.50 rating last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 0.55 rating (+17% from 0.47 rating last year)






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.