SBD/December 22, 2011/2011 Year in Review

NFL Tops Broadcast TV Sports In '11; BCS Championship Tops Cable Telecasts

NFL game telecasts accounted for each of the top 10 most-viewed sports telecasts on broadcast TV this year, with the BCS National Championship moving to cable and '11 being a non-Olympic year. This season's Dolphins-Cowboys game on Thanksgiving was the only regular-season game to crack the top 10, with the rest coming from last season's playoffs. Among non-NFL programming, the Cardinals-Rangers World Series Game Seven on Fox took the top spot with 25.4 million viewers. The '11 World Series took three spots among the top 10, while the Mavericks-Heat NBA Finals on ABC took three spots. Listed below are the most-viewed sports telecasts on broadcast TV through Dec. 19, along with the most-viewed non-NFL telecasts.

MOST-VIEWED SPORTS TELECASTS ON BROADCAST TV
RK
TELECAST
DATE
NET
RAT.
VIEWERS
(000)
1
Super Bowl XLV: Packers-Steelers
2/6
Fox
46.0
111,010
2
AFC Championship: Jets-Steelers
1/23
CBS
28.3
54,850
3
NFC Championship: Packers-Bears
1/23
Fox
28.1
51,884
4
AFC Divisional Playoff: Jets-Patriots
1/16
CBS
24.2
43,500
5
NFC Wild Card: Packers-Eagles
1/9
Fox
22.1
39,300
6
AFC Divisional Playoff: Ravens-Steelers
1/15
CBS
19.4
34,000
7
AFC Wild Card: Jets-Colts
1/8
NBC
18.7
33,400
8
NFC Divisional Playoff: Seahawks-Bears
1/16
Fox
19.1
32,500
9
"NFL on CBS": Dolphins-Cowboys (Thanksgiving)
11/24
CBS
14.3
30,901
10
NFC Divisional Playoff: Packers-Falcons
1/15
Fox
17.0
30,817
           
MOST-VIEWED NON-NFL SPORTS TELECASTS ON BROADCAST TV
RK
TELECAST
DATE
NET
RAT.
VIEWERS
(000)
1
World Series: Cardinals-Rangers: Game Seven
10/28
Fox
14.7
25,403
2
NBA Finals: Mavericks-Heat: Game Six
6/12
ABC
13.3
23,880
3
World Series: Cardinals-Rangers: Game Six
10/27
Fox
12.7
21,065
4
NCAA Basketball Championship: UConn-Butler
4/4
CBS
11.7
20,055
5
NCAA Football: LSU-Alabama
11/5
CBS
11.5
20,011
6
NBA Finals: Mavericks-Heat: Game Five
6/9
ABC
10.8
18,318
7
NCAA Tournament: Final Four: UConn-Kentucky
4/2
CBS
9.5
16,715
8
NBA Finals: Mavericks-Heat: Game Four
6/7
ABC
9.6
16,126
9
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Daytona 500
2/20
Fox
8.7
15,597
10
NBA Finals: Mavericks-Heat: Game Two
6/2
ABC
9.3
15,522
           

CABLE: "Monday Night Football" telecasts had topped the yearly ranking of most-viewed sports telecasts on cable TV since ESPN picked up the package prior to the '06 season. But with the BCS National Championship airing for the first time on cable in '11, the Auburn-Oregon matchup took the top spot with 27.3 million viewers. The Rose Bowl also aired for the first time on cable in '11, with the TCU-Wisconsin matchup marking the year's second-most-viewed sports telecast with 20.6 million viewers. "MNF" still performed well, taking seven of the top 10 spots overall. Among non-NFL programming, the FIFA Women's World Cup Final ranked fourth, as the U.S. loss to Japan drew 13.5 million viewers, which ranked higher than both the Fiesta and Orange Bowl telecasts.

MOST-VIEWED SPORTS TELECASTS ON CABLE TV
RK
TELECAST
DATE
NET
RAT.
VIEWERS
(000)
1
BCS National Championship: Auburn-Oregon
1/10
ESPN
15.3
27,316
2
Rose Bowl: TCU-Wisconsin
1/1
ESPN
11.3
20,558
3
"Monday Night Football": Redskins-Cowboys
9/26
ESPN
10.6
17,104
4
"Monday Night Football": Bears-Eagles
11/7
ESPN
10.7
16,847
5
"Monday Night Football": Steelers-49ers
12/19
ESPN
10.1
16,677
6
"Monday Night Football": Bears-Lions
10/10
ESPN
10.3
16,378
7
"Monday Night Football": Patriots-Dolphins
9/12
ESPN
9.1
14,568
8
"Monday Night Football": Giants-Saints
11/28
ESPN
9.3
14,423
9
"Monday Night Football": Vikings-Packers
11/14
ESPN
8.7
14,188
10
Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State-Arkansas
1/4
ESPN
8.2
13,635
           
MOST-VIEWED NON-NFL SPORTS TELECASTS ON CABLE TV
RK
TELECAST
DATE
NET
RAT.
VIEWERS
(000)
1
BCS National Championship: Auburn-Oregon
1/10
ESPN
15.3
27,316
2
Rose Bowl: TCU-Wisconsin
1/1
ESPN
11.3
20,558
3
Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State-Arkansas
1/4
ESPN
8.2
13,635
4
FIFA Women's World Cup Final: Japan-U.S.
7/17
ESPN
7.4
13,458
5
NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat-Bulls: Game One
5/15
TNT
6.2
11,109
6
NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat-Bulls: Game Three
5/22
TNT
6.4
10,889
7
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma-UConn
1/1
ESPN
6.2
10,819
8
Discover Orange Bowl: Stanford-Virginia Tech
1/3
ESPN
6.7
10,682
9
NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat-Bulls: Game Five
5/26
TNT
6.3
10,407
10
NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat-Bulls: Game Two
5/18
TNT
6.1
10,036
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Related Topics:

Year End, Nielsen Media Research

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