July 29, 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 July 27 and Sunday July 28, 2013. (The 56 markets out of 210 total cover about 70% of the US television population.)


After a one-week break, NASCAR roared back to the top of the weekend sports ratings in the painfully slow late July period.  The Brickyard 400 on ESPN also turned in a healthy +13% increase over last year.

NASCAR — Brickyard 400

ESPN Sun 1:00-4:15 pm 3.4 rating (+13% from 3.0 rating last year)


After a decent 2.5 rating last week (Yankees-Red Sox in most of the country), MLB tumbled back down to a 1.6 rating Saturday (more typical of this year’s ratings for baseball and down 16% from the same week last year).

MLB — Regular Season Week #17

FOX Sat 3:00 pm STL-ATL LAA-OAK NYM-WAS 1.6 rating (-16% from 1.9 rating last year, a 2-game regional at 4:00 pm)

  • In the top 10 markets, two markets had teams involved in FOX’s three selected games and delivered good ratings: Atlanta (4.6 rating) and Washington DC (3.4)
  • Three top 10 markets had a team involved but had mediocre ratings: New York (1.7), Los Angeles (1.3) and San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (1.8).  In all three cases, the market’s second-tier team was involved (Mets, Angels and A’s), and two of those three teams (Mets and Angels) have no hope of making the playoffs this year.
  • The other five large markets did not have teams involved and hovered around a 1 rating: Chicago (1.0), Philadelphia (0.9), Dallas (1.1), Boston (0.7) and Houston (0.6)
  • In the markets outside of the top 10, one market had a team featured Saturday: St Louis (market #21) 9.5 rating and 23 share


Golf finished a notch below MLB’s ratings with the important sounding but basically meaningless Canadian Open.  Note comparisons to two years ago are most relevant, as last year’s coverage was washed out..

Golf — Canadian Open

CBS Sat 3:00-6:00 pm Third Round 1.3 rating (+8% from 1.2 rating in 2011 and +120% from 0.6 rating for last year’s rain delay coverage)

CBS Sun 3:00-6:00 pm Final Round 1.8 rating (-5% from 1.9 rating in 2011 and +125% from 0.8 rating for last year’s rain delay coverage)

COMBINED WEEKEND COVERAGE 1.55 rating (even with 1.55 rating in 2011)


Also, FOX had a respectable audience Sunday from 4:00-6:00 pm for a USA vs Panama Gold Cup soccer match (1.7 rating), followed by a very decent 2.1 rating for a 15-minute post-match show at 6:00 pm.  On Saturday night at 8:00 pm, FOX received a 1.6 rating for the Johnson vs Morega UFC contest.  In the niche sports, NBC received a 0.8 rating for beach volleyball at 4:30 pm Sunday (and a 0.6 for the same event Saturday at 4:00 pm).  The WNBA All-Star Game played to a 0.6 rating on ABC on Saturday at 3:30 pm (about the same as last year’s game).  Seriously, time to give up the ghost on professional women’s basketball.






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.