April 29, 2013

SKEDBALL: Weekend Sports Ratings — NBA Playoffs Match Last Year’s Second Weekend

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The NBA playoffs continued on three networks this weekend, and the eight games collectively were very close to the comparable games last year (+1% overall).  The two ABC games were the highest-rated by far: a 5.0 household rating for Miami-Milwaukee and 4.1 rating for New York-Boston (in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets that comprise 70% of the country’s TV population).  Most of the other games were in the mid-2 household rating range, with a few time periods up versus last year and an equal number down.  The most notable increase (+38%) was in the TNT Sat 2:15 pm time period, where a triple-overtime game between Brooklyn and Chicago attracted viewers.



TNT Sat 2:15 pm Brooklyn-Chicago 2.2 rating (+38% for Indianapolis-Orlando 1.6 rating last year ESPN 2:00 pm same day)

TNT Sat 6:15 pm LA Clippers-Memphis 2.4 rating (+9% for Memphis-Clippers 2.2 rating last year ESPN 5:00 pm same day)

ESPN Sat 7:00 pm Indianapolis-Atlanta 1.5 rating (-38% for OKC-Dallas 2.4 rating last year TNT 7:45 pm same day)

ESPN Sat 9:45 pm OKC-Houston 2.5 rating (+32% for San Antonio-Utah 1.9 rating last year TNT 10:15 pm same day)

ABC Sun 1:00 pm New York-Boston 4.1 rating (+17% for Chicago-Philadelphia 3.5 rating last year same day)

ABC Sun 4:00 pm Miami-Milwaukee 5.0 rating (-6% for Miami-New York 5.3 rating last year 3:45 pm same day)

TNT Sun 7:15 pm San Antonio-LA Lakers 2.9 rating (+7% for Atlanta-Boston 2.7 rating last year 7:15 pm same day)

TNT Sun 9:30 pm Denver-Golden State 2.7 rating (-21% for LA Lakers-Denver 3.4 rating last year 9:45 pm same day)

PLAYOFF WEEKEND #2 (8 games) 2.91 average rating (+1% for 2.87 average rating last year)


NASCAR was also a big draw.  The Richmond 400 matched last year’s solid 3.4 rating in prime time Saturday.



FOX Sat 7:45 pm Richmond 400 3.4 rating (no change from 3.4 rating  last year same night)


PGA turned in a mid-1 rating (down significantly from last year).  MLB was up a big 42% from last year, but only to a 1.7 rating for the FOX Saturday games.  Meanwhile, the NHL season quietly closed out to a sub-1 rating, and let us hope X Games Brazil is not a tradition ESPN/ABC wastes a lot of time with.


PGA — Zurich Classic

CBS Sat 3:00 pm Third Round 1.2 rating (-8% from 1.3 rating last year)

CBS Sun 3:00 pm Final Round 1.7 rating (-23% from 2.2 rating last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 1.5 rating (-17% from 1.8 rating last year)


MLB — Regional Coverage

FOX Sat 1:00 pm 1.7 rating for ATL-DET, PHI-NYM or CIN-WAS (+42% from 1.2 rating last year for MIL-STL or LAA-CLE)


NHL — Final Regular Season Week

NBC Sat 3:15 pm NJ Devils-NY Rangers 0.6 rating (no comparison — no game this week last year)



ABC Sat 4:00 pm 0.4 rating (no comparison — new event)


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.