February 25, 2013

SKEDBALL: Weekend Sports Ratings Bowl

The Daytona 500 on FOX Sunday crushed the competition, averaging a 10.0 household rating and 22 share from 1:30-4:45 in the 70% of the country with local Nielsen meters (in 56 of the largest TV markets).  Last year, the race aired on Monday in prime time due to weather problems on Sunday, earning only a 7.7 rating / 13 share.  And two years ago, the Daytona 500 averaged an 8.2 / 18.  Clearly, there was heightened interest in the race this year due to Danica Patrick’s earning the pole position (she ended up finishing 9th) and perhaps because of anticipation of another spectacular crash like the one on Saturday that injured over a dozen spectators.  (Only garden variety mishaps Sunday, however.)

ABC aired NBA at 1:00 pm Sunday (Lakers at Dallas), averaging a 2.7 rating / 6 share nationally.  In Los Angeles, the Lakers averaged a 7.6 / 20, beating the 6.4 / 16 for the Daytona 500.  In Dallas, however, NASCAR (8.1 / 20) thumped the Mavericks game (4.3 / 11).

NBC averaged a 1.9 / 4 for the final round of the WGC Accenture match play golf tournament from 2:00-6:15 (without Tiger Woods in contention), down from last year’s 2.5 / 5 final round.

CBS aired an NCAA basketball doubleheader Sunday: a horrible 0.5 / 1 for unranked-Cincinnati at #25 Notre Dame from 2:00-4:00, followed by a more respectable 1.9 / 4 for #4 Michigan State at #18 Ohio State from 4:00-6:30.

On Saturday, there wasn’t much to watch in the sports daypart on the networks.  The highest-rated network sports programs on Saturday was the third round of the WGC Accenture golf tournament on NBC (1.4 / 3), followed closely by college basketball on CBS (#11 Georgetown at #8 Syracuse), which averaged a 1.3 / 3.  Everything else on Saturday was a 1.0 or lower.

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.