April 22, 2013

SKEDBALL: Weekend Sports Ratings — NBA Playoffs Start Solidly; MLB Strikes Out

More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Metcalf
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This weekend, the NBA playoffs got off to a solid start, with the eight games across two days and three networks up 6% from the same time periods last year.  The Lakers, Heat and Celtics/Knicks all broke a 3.5 household rating this past weekend.   Five of the weekend’s games were up significantly versus last year’s telecasts, while two were down and one was essentially unchanged.  The ratings listed below are Household ratings in the 56 markets measured locally by Nielsen (covering 70% of the country’s population).


ABC Saturday 3:00 Boston-New York 3.7 rating (-3% from 3.8 for New York-Miami last year*)

ESPN Saturday 5:30 Golden State-Denver 2.4 rating (+20% from 2.0 for Philadelphia-Chicago TNT last year)

ESPN Saturday 8:15 Chicago-Brooklyn 2.6 rating (+24% from 2.1 for Orlando-Indianapolis last year)

ESPN Saturday 10:30 Memphis-Clippers 2.6 rating (-16% from 3.1 for Dallas-OKC last year)

TNT Sunday 1:15 Atlanta-Indianapolis 1.9 rating (-21% from 2.4 for Utah-San Antonio ESPN last year)

ABC Sunday 3:30 Lakers-San Antonio 4.6 rating (+18% from 3.9 for Denver-Lakers last year)

TNT Sunday 7:15 Milwaukee-Miami 3.6 rating (+20% from 3.0 for Boston-Atlanta last year)

TNT Sunday 9:45 Houston-OKC 3.3 rating (+14% from 2.9 for Clippers-Memphis last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND PLAYOFF GAMES 24.7 rating  (+6% from 23.2 rating for same weekend last year)

* Note: “last year” indicates the same network, day and time period for the comparable telecast in 2012, unless otherwise indicated.


FOX had a good weekend with semi-sports NASCAR and UFC, both up from similar telecasts last year (with UFC up 35% from a similar Saturday night fight in early May).


FOX Sunday 1:15 Kansas 400 3.9 rating (+5% from 3.7 last year)


FOX Saturday 8:00 pm Henderson-Melendez 2.3 rating (+35% from 1.7 for Diaz-Miller on May 5, 2012)


CBS coverage of the RBC Heritage golf tournament lagged last year’s pace on Saturday but picked up enough steam Sunday to push the entire weekend coverage up slightly over last year.


RBC Heritage

CBS Saturday 3:00 Third Round 1.1 rating (-15% from 1.3 last year)

CBS Sunday 3:00 Final Round 2.0 rating (+25% from 1.6 last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND RATING 3.1 rating (+7% from 2.9 last year)


And then there’s baseball, collapsing almost 50% from last year’s rating to a lowly 1.5 rating for regional coverage Saturday afternoon.  Last year’s duo of games featured the Yankees and the Red Sox, while this year’s trio included the White Sox and the other New York team.


FOX Saturday 3:00 various teams 1.5 rating (-46% from 2.8 last year)

This year’s regional games included the less attractive Twins-White Sox, Tigers-Angels, Nationals-Mets.  Last year featured the always-strong Yankees-Red Sox and the White Sox-Mariners.

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.