September 3, 2013

SKEDBALL: Weekend Sports TV Ratings

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The ratings below are household ratings from the 56 television markets with local Nielsen meters for Saturday August 31 and Sunday September 1, 2013. (The 56 markets out of 210 total cover about 70% of the US television population.)


College football kicked off with a very strong game in prime time Saturday on ABC (a very good 4.7 rating, matching the similar game last year).  ESPN also had good games around a 3 rating at 1:00 and 5:30 pm (both up high double digits from last year).  Other games on ESPN and ESPN2, as well as NBC’s Notre Dame game, were closer to a 1.5 rating, several notches below the marquee match-ups.  Fox Sports 1 is off to a very slow start with its college football coverage, under a 0.5 rating for a tripleheader.

College Football

ABC Saturday 8:00 pm #5 Georgia-#8 Clemson 4.7 rating (unchanged from 4.7 rating for Michigan-Alabama last year)

ESPN Saturday 5:30 pm #1 Alabama-Virginia Tech 3.12 rating (+57% from 1.99 rating for Bowling Green-Florida last year)

ESPN 1:00 pm Rice-#7 Texas A&M 2.89 rating (+18% from 2.45 for Ohio State-Penn State at 3:30 pm last year)

ABC Saturday 3:30 pm Miss State-#13 Oklahoma State (in 34 of 56 markets) or Syracuse-Penn State (in 22 of 56 markets) 2.2 rating (unchanged from 2.2 rating last year)

ESPN Saturday 9:00 pm #12 LSU-#20 TCU 1.91 rating (-14% from 2.22 rating for Clemson-Auburn last year)

NBC Saturday 3:00 pm Temple-#14 Notre Dame 1.6 rating (-24% from 2.1 rating for Notre Dame-Purdue last year)

ESPN2 Saturday 12:00 pm Buffalo-#2 Ohio State 1.45 rating (+142% from 0.60 rating for Northwestern-Syracuse last year)

ESPN Sunday 3:30 pm Ohio-#9 Louisville 1.25 rating (-11% from 1.41 rating for Kentucky-Louisville last year)

FS1 Saturday 10:00 pm #19 Boise State-Washington 0.45 rating

FS1 Saturday 4:00 pm Nicholls State-#3 Oregon 0.28 rating

FS1 Saturday 12:00 pm William & Mary-West Virginia 0.20 rating


NASCAR — Atlanta 500

ESPN Sunday 7:30-11:30 pm 3.1 rating (-6% from 3.3 rating last year)


Golf — Deutsche Bank Championship

NBC Sun 2:30-6:00 pm Third Round 2.4 rating (-4% from 2.5 rating last year)

NBC Mon 1:00-6:30 pm Final Round 2.5 rating (-26% from 3.4 rating last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND 2.45 rating (-17% from 2.95 rating last year)


MLB coverage Saturday on FOX was off this week.


US Open tennis averaged a 1.2 rating on Saturday on CBS from 11:00 am-6:15 pm (unchanged from last year).  On Sunday from 11:00 am-6:00 pm tennis averaged a 1.6 rating on CBS (+14% from 1.4 rating last year).  On Monday from 12:30-6:00 pm, tennis averaged a 1.2 rating on CBS (down 14% from 1.4 rating last year).

Premier League soccer from the UK continued on NBC and NBCSN with ratings drifted down a bit in the third week. The NBC match Saturday at 12:30 pm averaged a 0.55 rating (down from 0.67 last week). Matches on NBCSN ranged from 0.47 Sunday at 11:00 am to 0.24 Saturday at 7:45 am.


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.