November 11, 2012

The Sked: Saturday Ratings — College Football in a Rare Fumble

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Last night ABC won prime time with a disappointing 1.7 adult 18-49 rating in the fast nationals for the Notre Dame-Boston College game in which the Fighting Irish extended their undefeated season.  The game will go up in the official nationals (realeased Tuesday morning) to about a 1.9 or 2.0.  The real prime time test for ND will come in a few weeks when they visit LA to take on rival USC.

Over on FOX, the really unattractive matchup of Southern Miss at SMU warbled to a 0.7 rating, above the weak 0.6 for repeats on NBC but still below the 0.9 for CBS repeats Saturday night.  All in all, a pretty week showing for college football, especially compared to the last four Saturday nights in the table below.

Primetime Saturday Sports Ratings Past Four Weeks (Adults 18-49)

Nov 3: CBS Alabama at LSU 4.0……..FOX Oregon at USC 1.5……..ABC Oklahoma State at Kansas State 0.7

Oct 27: ABC Notre Dame at Oklahoma 2.9……….FOX World Series Game 3 2.8

Oct 20: ABC Florida State at Miami OR  Baylor at Texas 1.8……….FOX Kansas State at West Virginia 0.8

Oct 13: ABC NASCAR Sprint Cup 1.3…………….FOX USC at Washington 0.8

Leading into prime time, CBS aired #15 Texas A&M upsetting #1 Alabama.  Around 7 pm ET, Alabama nearly came back to win, but an interception near the goal line gave A&M the stunning victory.  Needless to say ratings will be huge for this game, but ratings for non-prime time sporting events often go unnoticed.

Starting Monday, that will change.  ShowbuzzDaily will begin reporting SKEDBALL, a round-up of sports ratings from Saturday and Sunday afternoons, THE sports daypart for the broadcast networks and ESPN.

The ratings will look a little different from the prime time fast nationals ratings you usually read here.  Instead of Adult 18-49 ratings, we will be showing Household ratings and shares from the 56 largest markets around the country (representing 70% of the US).  Generally speaking, fast national ratings are not available outside of prime time, so these “overnight market” ratings are the next best thing for weekend afternoons.   But the localized ratings will allow us to see, for example, how a regionalized game performs in various parts of the country — something generally not available with the national ratings.

Check back Monday for the first edition of SKEDBALL.

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.