July 1, 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 29 and Sunday June 30, 2013. (The 56 markets out of 210 total cover about 70% of the US television population.)


Stop the presses!   Major League Baseball was the top sporting event this weekend.  Not because it delivered an exceptionally large audience — rather, there really wasn’t much else on.

MLB — Regular Season Week #13

FOX Sat 7:15 pm NYY-BAL CIN-TEX CHC-SEA DET-TB MIL-PIT 2.5 rating (same as 2.5 rating last year, a 6-game regional at 7:15 pm)

  • In the top 10 markets, three markets had teams involved in FOX’s five selected games.  In those markets FOX did acceptably: Dallas (6.9 rating / 14 share), Chicago (2.6 / 6) and New York (2.3 / 5).
  • Two of the top 10 markets were reasonably close to markets involved and did OK: Washington DC, near Baltimore (2.1 / 5) and Philadelphia, with some affinity for Pittsburgh (1.6 / 3)
  • The other five markets had no reason to watch: Los Angeles (0.8 / 2), San Francisco (0.6 / 2), Boston (0.8 / 2), Atlanta (0.9 / 2) and Houston (0.8 / 2).
  • The best ratings for FOX baseball coverage Saturday were found in Detroit (market # 11) 12.8 rating / 25 share and Pittsburgh (market #23) 10.5 rating / 21 share.


NASCAR fell below baseball this week, but the small decline from last year is really a function of the early afternoon start time this year, a big downgrade from prime time last year.

NASCAR — Kentucky 400

TNT Sun 12:00 pm 2.4 rating (-4% from 2.5 rating last year at 7:30 pm)



Golf utterly collapsed.  The AT&T National plummeted 65% on Sunday with a leader board filled with newcomers.  And the USGA held the Women’s US Open, which generated less than a 1 rating on NBC (those aren’t NBC Sports Network or Golf Channel ratings), down slightly from last year.  Speaking of NBC Sports Network, it carried Tour de France coverage Sunday from 7:30-11:45 am, delivering a 0.30 rating (actually up 15% from 0.26 last year).

PGA– AT&T National

CBS Sat 3:00-6:00 pm Third Round 1.1 rating (-50% from 2.2 rating last year)

CBS Sun 3:00-6:30 pm Final Round 1.6 rating (-65% from 4.6 rating last year from 3:00-6:45 pm)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 1.35 rating (-60% from 3.4 rating last year)

USGA– Women’s US Open

NBC Sat 3:00-6:30 pm Third Round 0.69 rating (-13% from 0.79 rating last year)

NBC Sun 3:00-6:00 pm Final Round 0.87 rating (-2% from 0.89 rating last year)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 0.78 rating (-7% from 0.84 rating last year)


Tennis. No Wimbledon action on Sunday, but Saturday’s coverage on ESPN from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon averaged a 0.96 rating, down 4% from a 1.00 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.