June 10, 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 June 8 and Sunday June 9, 2013.  (The 56 markets out of 210 total cover about 70% of the US television population.)

The forgettable NBA playoff season is coming to a close, but the NBA remains the biggest sports draw on TV this time of year by far — the only sport near a double-digit household rating this weekend.

NBA — Playoff Weekend #8

ABC Sun 8:00 pm San Antonio-Miami 9.5 rating (-19% from 11.8 rating Thu June 14 9:00 pm last year)


With different winners in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, the Belmont was certain to have little meaning.  The third leg of the Triple Crown averaged a 4.6 rating, down 15% from last year.  A far cry from the 10.4 rating for the Kentucky Derby when everything seems possible in horse racing.


NBC Sat 5:00-6:15 pm Pre-Race 2.5 rating (-19% from 3.1 rating last year)

NBC Sat 6:15-7:00 pm Race Coverage 4.6 rating (-15% from 5.4 rating last year)


NBC Sat 3:30-4:30 pm Pre-Race 1.4 rating (+49% from 0.9 rating last year)

NBC Sat 4:30-5:00 pm Pre-Race 2.4 rating (+41% from 1.7 rating last year)

NBC Sat 5:00-5:45 pm Pre-Race 3.6 rating (+24% from 2.9 rating last year)

NBC Sat 5:45-6:45 pm Race Coverage 6.0 rating (+9% from 5.5 rating last year)


NBC Sat 4:00-4:30 pm Pre-Race 3.1 rating (+11% from 2.8 rating last year)

NBC Sat 4:30-5:00 pm Pre-Race 4.1 rating (+11% from 3.7 rating last year)

NBC Sat 5:00-6:00 pm Pre-Race 6.2 rating (+15% from 5.4 rating last year)

NBC Sat 6:00-7:00 pm Race Coverage 10.4 rating (+16% from 9.0 rating last year)


NASCAR turned in an unusual yearly decline this weekend, down 9% for the Pocono 500 from last year.  NBC continues to grow Formula One racing by upgrading that circuit from the Speed channel, but this weekend’s race still failed to top a 1.0 rating.


FOX Sun 1:00 pm Pocono 500 2.9 rating (-9% from 3.2 rating last year)


NBC Sun 2:00 pm Canadian Grand Prix 0.94 rating (+24% from 0.76 rating last year on Speed )


The final games in the Eastern and Western conference championship series pushed NHL ratings almost to NASCAR levels.  The finals start Wednesday on NBC and continue Saturday night.

NHL — Playoff Weekend #6 Conference Finals

NBC Sports Network Fri 8:00 pm Pittsburgh-Boston 2.28 rating (+121% from NY Rangers-New Jersey 1.03 rating Mon May 21 at 8:00 pm last year)

NBC Sat 8:00 pm NY Los Angeles-Chicago 2.9 rating (+164% from Phoenix-Los Angeles 1.1 rating on Sun May 20 at 3:00 pm)

COMBINED PLAYOFF COVERAGE (2 games) 2.59 rating (+142% from 1.07 rating last year)



MLB resumed its double-digit percentage declines this week, after only a 4% drop last week.

MLB — Regular Season Week #10

FOX Sat 7:15 pm LAA-BOS, STL-CIN, SD-COL, HOU-KC & PHI-MIL 2.2 rating (-15% from 2.6 rating last year)


Golf was up a bit on Sunday as Phil Mickelson mounted a late but unsuccessful charge at the St. Jude Classic.

PGA — St. Jude Classic

CBS Sat 3:00 pm Third Round 1.4 rating (identical to 1.4 rating last year)

CBS Sun 3:00 pm Final Round 2.1 rating (+11% from 1.9 rating last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 1.75 rating (+6% from 1.65 rating last year)


Kind of sad that one of the grand slam tournaments in tennis draws an audience equal to a very mediocre PGA golf tournament.

TENNIS — French Open

NBC Sat 9:00 am Women’s Final 1.8 rating (+6% from 1.7 rating last year)

NBC Sun 9:00 am Men’s Final 1.7 rating (-15% from 2.0 rating last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 1.75 rating (-5% from 1.85 rating 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.