SBD/May 6, 2011/Media

Final Nielsen Ratings: Playoffs Continue To Draw Viewers For NBA, NHL

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NBA Playoff telecasts continue to earn big ratings across TV partners

TNT earned a 4.5 U.S. rating for Wednesday night's Mavericks-Lakers Western Conference Semifinals Game Two, marking the highest-rated NBA Playoff game on cable this postseason to date. The game was also the No. 1 program for the day across all networks among adults 18-34 and males 18-34 and 18-49. TNT is averaging a 2.9 rating through 29 NBA Playoff telecasts, up 26% from the same point last year. The net has also seen a year-over-year audience decline in just five of those 29 telecasts. The opening game of the Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Semifinals series on ABC last Sunday was last week's most-viewed sports telecast with 9.2 million viewers, up 54% from the comparable Lakers-Jazz Western Conference Semifinals Game One last year. ABC's broadcast of Grizzlies-Thunder Western Conference Semifinals Game One in the early window last Sunday was up 56.6% from 3.1 million viewers for the comparable Hawks-Bucks First Round Game Seven last year. NBA postseason telecasts also accounted for nine of the 10 most-viewed sports telecasts on cable TV last week (ESPN's airing of the NFL Draft was the lone non-NBA program). The Lakers-Hornets First Round Game Five led the cable NBA games with 5.8 million viewers, which also ranked it sixth among all cable TV telecasts for the week.

COOL AS ICE: NBC averaged 2.3 million viewers for its coverage of Red Wings-Sharks Game Two last Sunday, marking the most-viewed NHL Conference Semifinal game in three years. The game was also up 24.7% from 1.8 million viewers for the comparable Canadiens-Penguins Eastern Conference Semifinals Game Two last year. The opening game of the Bruins-Flyers Eastern Conference Semifinals series last Saturday also averaged 1.9 million viewers on NBC, up 19.7% from the same matchup last year. Through six telecasts, the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBC are averaging 1.9 million viewers, up 13% from the first six games last season (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

The chart below lists final Nielsen ratings and viewership from recent sports telecasts. All ratings listed are U.S. ratings.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Celtics-Heat: Game One
5/1
ABC
3:38-6:30pm
5.8
9,169
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Richmond
4/30
Fox
8:00-11:03pm
3.7
6,138
NBA Western Conference Semifinals:
Grizzlies-Thunder: Game One
5/1
ABC
12:54-3:38pm
3.1
4,787
PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New
Orleans: Final Round
5/1
CBS
3:00-6:40pm
1.9
2,794
MLB: (regional)
4/30
Fox
1:08-3:56pm
1.4
2,251
NHL Western Conference Semifinals:
Red Wings-Sharks: Game Two
5/1
NBC
3:00-6:10pm
1.4
2,251
NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals:
Bruins-Flyers: Game One
4/30
NBC
3:00-6:00pm
1.2
1,921
PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New
Orleans: Third Round
4/30
CBS
3:00-6:00pm
1.1
1,539
Boxing: "Fight Camp 360:
Pacquiao vs. Mosley"
4/30
CBS
8:00-9:00pm
0.8
1,136
National Heads Up Poker
Championship (taped)
5/1
NBC
12:00-2:00pm
0.8
1,105
Monster Energy AMA
Supercross (taped)
5/1
CBS
12:00-1:00pm
0.7
1,053
Rolex Equestrian Championships (taped)
5/1
NBC
2:00-3:00pm
0.6
976
Lucas Oil Off Road Pro2, Pro4 (taped)
5/1
CBS
1:00-2:00pm
0.6
826
"Sunrise to Sunset -
A PGA Professional's Life"
5/1
CBS
2:00-3:00pm
0.5
n/a
TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
NFL Draft: First Round
4/28
ESPN
8:00-11:49pm
3.8
6,003
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Lakers-Hornets: Game Five
4/26
TNT
10:46pm-1:23am
3.6
5,837
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Thunder-Nuggets: Game Five
4/27
ESPN
9:41pm-12:32am
2.9
4,266
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Grizzlies-Spurs: Game Six
4/29
TNT
8:58-11:50pm
2.7
4,220
NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
Bulls-Pacers: Game Five
4/26
TNT
8:09-10:46pm
2.6
4,061
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Lakers-Hornets: Game Six
4/28
TNT
8:09-10:39pm
2.4
3,871
NBA Eastern Conference First Round:
Heat-76ers: Game Five
4/27
TNT
7:08-9:41pm
2.4
3,623
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Thunder-Nuggets: Game Four
4/25
TNT
10:44pm-1:33am
2.3
3,539
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Mavericks-Trail Blazers: Game Six
4/28
TNT
10:39pm-1:19am
2.2
3,354
NBA Western Conference First Round:
Grizzlies-Spurs: Game Four
4/25
TNT
8:09-10:36pm
2.2
3,400
 





 





WHEELS KEEP ON SPINNING: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series telecast from Richmond Int'l Raceway on Fox April 30 averaged 6.1 million viewers, down slightly from 6.2 million viewers last year. The rating for the race was flat at a 3.1. Through nine races, the series is averaging a 5.3 rating and 9.2 million viewers on Fox, up 3.9% and 9.7%, respectively, from seven races at the same point last season (excludes two rainouts in '10) (Karp).

STARTING FAST
: MASN drew a sizable 24% ratings jump for its Orioles games in the Baltimore market so far this year. The team's 26 games in April drew a 5.6 rating in the market, compared to last year's 4.5 mark. Meanwhile, O's games have jumped 114% this season in the DC market, registering a 1.5 rating compared to last year's 0.7 rating. MASN's 1.5 rating for Orioles games in the DC DMA is only slightly behind the 1.6 rating Nationals games drew in April. The Nats' 1.6 rating is up 78% from last year's 0.9 mark (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

NOTES
: Comcast SportsNet Chicago earned a total viewing audience of 6.96 million Chicago TV HHs from April 1-May 1, a time period during which the net televised 52 live Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox and MLS Fire games. The net during the week of April 18-24 set a new weekly record by amassing over 2.6 million HHs for 15 live pro events (CSN)....TNT averaged an 8.0 local rating in Atlanta for Monday's Game One of the Hawks-Bulls Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The three regular-season Hawks games that aired on TNT averaged a 2.6 rating (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/5).

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