SBD/September 2, 2011/Media

Final Ratings: ESPN Primetime Audience Down 6% Over The Summer

ESPN averaged 1.366 million viewers in primetime this summer (May 30-Aug. 28), down 6% from 1.453 million viewers during the same period last year. The net ranked ninth overall among cable networks in primetime, just below FX and just above Syfy. ESPN2 also saw a 9% drop in primetime viewership over the summer, with the net ranking 37th among all nets with 496,000 average viewers. Among sports nets seeing gains in primetime over the summer were NFL Network (+17%), MLB Network (+28%), Golf Channel (+10%), ESPNews (+6%) and Fox Soccer (+62%). Galavision saw a 53% jump in primetime viewership on the back of matches from the Copa America and FIFA U-20 World Cup tournaments (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NOTES: ESPN2 averaged 270,000 viewers for its WNBA regular-season telecasts this season, marking the net’s best figure since ’05. This year’s audience is up 4.7% from 258,000 viewers last year (ESPN)….NFL Network averaged 1.78 million viewers for the rescheduled Jets-Giants NFL preseason matchup on Monday night, marking the third-highest audience for a preseason game in the net’s history. Six of the net’s top 10 most-viewed preseason games have taken place this year (NFL Network)….NESN earned a 15.2 local rating in the Boston market for Wednesday's Yankees-Red Sox game, marking the net's highest game rating of the season (NESN)....FS Southwest earned a 7.0 local rating and 181,600 HHs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market for Tuesday night’s Rays-Rangers game, marking the net’s highest-rated Rangers game this season and fourth-best rating all-time (FS Southwest).

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

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
NFL Preseason: Saints-Raiders
8/28
NBC
8:08-11:02pm
5.6
9,270
NFL Preseason: Packers-Colts
8/26
CBS
8:00-11:18pm
4.1
6,740
NFL Preseason: Patriots-Lions
8/27
CBS
8:00-11:12pm
3.2
5,597
NASCAR Sprint Cup:
Irwin Tools Night Race^
8/27
ABC
7:30-11:00pm
3.0
5,067
LLWS Championship:
Huntington Beach ,Calif.-Japan
8/28
ABC
3:00-5:34pm
2.4
3,866
"NASCAR Countdown"
8/27
ABC
7:00-7:30pm
2.2
n/a
LLWS: U.S. Championship:
Huntington Beach, Calif.-Billings, Mont.
8/27
ABC
2:31-5:43pm
1.8
2,765
Madden NFL 12 Pigskin Pro-Am (taped)
8/28
NBC
7:00-8:00pm
1.6
2,561
World Track & Field
Championships (taped)
8/28
NBC
12:30-2:00pm
1.2
1,752
LLWS: Int'l Championship: Japan-Mexico
8/27
ABC
12:00-2:31pm
1.2
1,685
MLB: (regional)
8/27
Fox
4:08-7:23pm
1.1
1,685
PGA Tour: The Barclays: Final Round*
8/27
CBS
3:00-6:00pm
1.1
1,542
World Track & Field
Championships (taped)
8/27
NBC
1:30-3:00pm
0.8
1,088
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day**
8/28
CBS
12:00-1:30pm
0.7
1,064
PGA Tour: The Barclays***
8/28
CBS
2:00-6:00pm
0.7
1,055
Horse Racing: The Travers Stakes
8/27
NBC
5:00-6:00pm
0.7
1,054
USA Pro Cycling Challenge
8/28
NBC
2:00-4:00pm
0.6
931
Golf: U.S. Amateur Championship:
Final Round
8/28
NBC
4:00-6:00pm
0.6
920
"U.S. Open Preview"
8/28
CBS
1:30-2:00pm
0.5
n/a
Golf: U.S. Amateur Championship:
Third Round
8/27
NBC
3:00-5:00pm
0.4
641
ATP World Tour: Winston-Salem Open:
Isner d. Bennetea
8/27
CBS
12:30-3:00pm
0.4
559
 

CHART NOTES: ^ = Many local stations on the East Coast pre-empted the race telecast for news about Hurricane Irene. The race also aired on ESPN in some eastern states as a backup for viewers in areas where hurricane news could pre-empt the race and on ESPN2 in eight markets where NFL preseason games were airing. * = Saturday of The Barclays was the final round due to the final 18 holes being cancelled ahead of Hurricane Irene. ** = Rained out. Coverage was from '10. *** = Coverage included highlights from '11 and '10 tournaments.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
NFL Preseason: Bears-Giants
8/22
ESPN
8:00-11:24pm
3.8
5,853
NFL Preseason: Redskins-Ravens
8/25
ESPN
8:00-11:25pm
3.0
4,614
LLWS: Billings, Mont.-
Huntington Beach, Calif.
8/24
ESPN
8:00-10:09pm
1.4
2,280
LLWS: Clinton County, Pa.-
Warner Robins, Ga.
8/23
ESPN2
8:00-10:29pm
1.4
2,138
LLWS: Huntington Beach, Calif.-
Clinton County, Pa.
8/25
ESPN2
8:00-10:00pm
1.3
2,133
MLB: Angels-Rangers
8/28
ESPN
7:58-11:24pm
1.0
1,584
LLWS: Warner Robins, Ga.-
La Grange, Ky.
8/22
ESPN
4:04-6:50pm
1.1
1,547
"Monday Night Countdown"
8/22
ESPN
7:00-8:00pm
1.1
1,475
NASCAR Nationwide Series:
Food City 250
8/26
ESPN
7:30-9:50pm
1.0
1,439
"Monday Night Countdown"
8/25
ESPN
7:02-8:00pm
1.0
1,427

 

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