May 13, 2013

SKEDBALL: Weekend Sports Ratings — Tiger Woods Is Winning Again and Viewers Return to Golf

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

PGA golf was the big winner this weekend (May 11-12, 2013), thanks to a resurgent Tiger Woods, who won his fourth tournament this year at the mini-major TPC in Florida.  NBC was up almost 50% over last year for the weekend coverage and up almost 70% for Sunday’s final round as Woods cruised to victory and Sergio Garcia had a classic meltdown down the stretch.  The ratings below are household ratings from the 56 television markets with local Nielsen meters.  (The 56 markets out of 210 total cover about 70% of the US television population.)

PGA — The Players Championship

NBC Sat 2:00 pm Third Round 3.0 rating (+20% from 2.5 rating last year)

NBC Sun 2:00 pm Final Round 5.7 rating (+68% from 3.4 rating last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 4.35 rating (+47% from 2.95 rating last year)


The NBA playoffs continue to underwhelm.  The three games on Saturday and Sunday are down almost 20% from the same weekend last year.  One game was up sharply from last year, but the other two were down almost as severely.


ESPN Sat 5:00 pm OKC-Memphis 2.7 rating (-45% from OKC-LA Lakers 4.9 rating last year at 10:30 pm)

ABC Sat 8:15 pm New York-Indianapolis 4.3 rating (+48% from San Antonio-LA Clippers 2.9 rating last year at 3:30 pm)

ABC Sun 3:30 pm San Antonio-Golden State 4.1 rating (-30% from Miami-Indianapolis 5.9 rating last year)

PLAYOFF WEEKEND #4 (3 games) 3.7 average rating (-19% for 4.57 average rating last year)


NASCAR delivered the exact same rating for FOX Saturday night for the Southern 500 as it did last year on the same night.


FOX Sat 7:00-10:45 pm Southern 500 3.5 rating (even with 3.5 rating  last year)



NHL playoffs continued this weekend on the obscure NBC Sports Network.  Less than a rating point for each game, although the games are up about a tenth of a rating point from last year.

NHL — Playoff Weekend #3 Quarterfinals

NBC Sports Network Sat 7:00 pm Pittsburgh-NY Islanders 0.58 rating (+26% from Ottawa-NY Rangers 0.46 rating last year on Apr 21 at 7:00 pm)

NBC Sports Network Sun 7:30 pm Boston-Toronto 0.71 rating (+4% from Los Angeles-Vancouver 0.68 rating last year on Apr 22 at 8:00 pm)

NBC Sports Network Sun 10:15 pm Detroit-Anaheim 0.66 rating (no comparable game)

COMBINED PLAYOFF COVERAGE (3 games) 0.65 rating (+14% from 0.57 rating for two games on the comparable weekend 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.