SBD/Issue 36/Sports Media

TBS, ESPN Tied As October's Highest-Rated Cable Nets

TBS and ESPN tied as the highest-rated primetime cable nets from October 1-28, according to Mike Reynolds of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. TBS  averaged a 2.4 HH rating “behind the strength" of its exclusive coverage of the MLB Division series.  The net “might have won the month save for three of the four Division series resulting in sweeps” and the “disappointing ratings delivered” by the Rockies-D’Backs NLCS. The 2.4 average HH rating is still double the 1.2 the net averaged during October ’06. Meanwhile, ESPN was down 17% for October, compared to a 2.9 HH mark in the year-ago period. “MNF” produced the top three viewed shows on cable for the month, and four of the top five, but the franchise is “suffering through a sophomore slump” when compared to ’06 numbers (, 10/30).  DAILY VARIETY reports TBS averaged 3.1 million viewers for the month, putting the net “firmly in first place” ahead of ESPN’s 3 million viewers. The figures represent a 123% increase for TBS from the year-ago period, while ESPN is down 14%. Nine of TBS’ MLB postseason broadcasts finished among the top 15 programs. Meanwhile, Versus was up 27% in primetime viewers to finish the month 45th among cable nets, while Speed was down 17% and ranked 50th (DAILY VARIETY, 10/31).

ESPN's Packers-Broncos Score
10.5 Rating For "MNF" Game
PACKERS-BRONCOS: ESPN received its best “MNF” rating of the season for Packers-Broncos this week, earning a 10.5 coverage area rating (14.0 million viewers), up 9.4% from a 9.6 coverage rating (11.9 million viewers) for the comparable week eight Patriots-Vikings game last year. In terms of viewers, Packers-Broncos is the second-ranked telecast on cable this year, behind “High School Musical 2” on Disney, and ahead of the Cowboys-Bills game on “MNF” earlier this month.  ESPN says the game led all broadcast and cable nets for the night in males 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, as well as people 18-34 and 18-49.  ESPN benefited from the lack of a World Series Game Five, which would have occurred at the same time as Packers-Broncos (THE DAILY).  The game was the “highest-rated game of the season" locally in Milwaukee with a 49.1/ (433,553 HHs) rating. The game was simulcast on WISN-ABC, which drew “twice as many viewers" as ESPN.  Both channels combined for a 66 share during the game. The highest-rated quarter-hour included overtime (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/31).

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