SBD/April 22, 2011/Media

Final Nielsen Ratings: NBA Playoffs Off To Strong Start; IndyCar At Long Beach Down

Last weekend marked the start of the NBA Playoffs, and TNT's Sunday tripleheader earned a 2.8 U.S. rating and 4.5 million viewers, marking the net's best opening day of the playoffs in 27 years of televising the NBA. Those figures were also up 27% and 36%, respectively, from '10. TNT was tops among all nets on Sunday night in the adult 18-34 and 18-49 demos. ABC averaged a 3.4 rating and 5.3 million viewers for its two NBA playoff telecasts last weekend, up 17.2% and 18.5%, respectively, from a 2.9 rating and 4.4 million viewers for the net's first two telecasts last year. ESPN's Saturday tripleheader averaged a 2.2 rating and 3.4 million viewers, up 10.0% and 14.7%, respectively, from a 2.0 rating and 3.0 million viewers last year.

AUTO ZONE: Fox topped all sports telecasts last weekend with a 5.2 final Nielsen rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Aaron's 499 from Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. That rating is flat compared to the same race last year. ESPN2 finished with a 1.8 U.S. rating for Saturday's Nationwide Series Aaron's 312, up from a 1.1 rating for the race last year, which aired on a Sunday afternoon following the Sprint Cup race due to a Saturday rainout. Versus last Sunday aired the Izod IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, averaging 323,000 viewers, down 34% from 490,000 viewers for the race last year.

Listed below are final Nielsen ratings from recent sports telecasts. All ratings listed are U.S. ratings (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Aaron's 499
4/17
Fox
1:30-4:41pm
5.2
9,039
NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals:
Hornets-Lakers: Game One
4/17
ABC
3:22-6:11pm
3.7
5,950
NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:
76ers-Heat: Game One
4/16
ABC
3:22-6:09pm
3.0
4,546
MLB: (regional)
4/16
Fox
4:08-7:12pm
1.5
2,292
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open:
Final Round
4/17
CBS
3:00-6:00pm
1.2
1,796
NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:
Capitals-Rangers: Game Three
4/17
NBC
3:00-6:10pm
1.1
1,639
NHL Western Conference Quarterfinals:
Coyotes-Red Wings: Game Two
4/16
NBC
1:00-4:00pm
1.0
1,529
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open:
Third Round
4/16
CBS
3:00-6:00pm
0.9
1,289
National Heads-Up Poker
Championship (taped)
4/17
NBC
12:00-1:00pm
0.6
896
Champions Tour: Outback Steakhouse
Pro-Am: Third Round
4/16
NBC
4:00-6:00pm
0.6
829
Champions Tour: Outback Steakhouse
Pro-Am: Final Round
4/17
NBC
1:00-3:00pm
0.6
761
Advance Auto Parts
Monster Jam World Finals 12
4/17
CBS
2:00-3:00pm
0.4
743
TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
Knicks-Celtics: Game One
4/17
TNT
7:09-9:41pm
3.6
5,989
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Nuggets-Thunder: Game One
4/17
TNT
9:41pm-12:23am
3.1
5,038
NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
Pacers-Bulls: Game One
4/16
ESPN
1:00-3:41pm
2.4
3,567
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Trail Blazers-Mavericks: Game One
4/16
ESPN
9:48pm-12:41am
2.1
3,456
NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
Hawks-Magic: Game One
4/16
ESPN
6:58-9:48pm
2.1
3,328
MLB: Yankees-Rangers
4/17
ESPN
7:59-11:14pm
1.9
3,037
NASCAR Nationwide Series:
Aaron's 312
4/16
ESPN2
3:00-6:20pm
1.8
2,938
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Grizzlies-Spurs: Game One
4/17
TNT
1:09-4:05pm
2.0
2,836
NBA: Bulls-Knicks
4/12
TNT
8:16-10:48pm
1.8
2,771
NBA: Spurs-Lakers
4/12
TNT
10:48pm-1:22am
1.7
2,623
 

CUP FEVER: Root Sports averaged a 16.5 local rating in Pittsburgh for Monday's Penguins-Lightning Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game Three. The rating was "neither a top 10 all time for a playoff broadcast or among the three highest Round 1 games," but it "nearly doubled the average for regular-season Penguins broadcasts" (PITTSBURGHLIVE.com, 4/20)....NESN averaged a 10.7 local rating in Boston for Monday's Bruins-Canadiens Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game Three, marking the net's highest-rated Bruins playoff game that was not a Game Seven (NESN)....Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic earned "peak TV ratings of 9.16 in the D.C. market and 4.97 in the Baltimore market during overtime" of the Capitals' double-OT win over the Rangers in Wednesday's Game Four of their series, "meaning about 273,000 homes in [the] area were tuned in." Three of the net's "highest-rated Caps games already have happened during this series, which will almost certainly be the best-rated Caps playoff series in CSN history" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/20)....FS Arizona averaged a 2.5 local rating and 45,065 HHs in Phoenix for Wednesday's series-clinching Red Wings-Coyotes Western Conference Quarterfinals Game Four, marking the net's highest-rated Coyotes telecast of the season (FS Arizona).

JUST FOR KICKS: ESPN2 averaged a 2.8 local rating in Portland for last Thursday's MLS Fire-Timbers broadcast, the highest local rating the broadcast earned in the U.S. The game averaged a 0.3 local rating in Chicago and a 0.2 U.S. rating, which was "on par with ESPN2's broadcast of a Philadelphia-Toronto MLS game that aired on the corresponding Thursday last year" (OREGONLIVE.com, 4/19)....ESPN Deportes earned a 9.4 Hispanic household coverage rating, 483,000 Hispanic HHs and 524,000 Hispanic male viewers 18+ for last Saturday's FC Barcelona-Real Madrid match. The game was the second-most-watched-telecast ever on the net, behind a November '09 matchup between the two teams that earned 512,000 Hispanic HHs (ESPN Deportes).

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