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Volume 25 No. 61
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Audience Analysis: MLB Up For Fox, Down For FS1, "SNB" At Break

Novak Djokovic’s straight sets win over Kevin Anderson on Sunday averaged 1.06 million viewers on ESPN, marking a new low for the Wimbledon men’s final on U.S. TV, as there was competition at the end of the telecast with the FIFA World Cup final. Last year’s Roger Federer-Marin Cilic final averaged 1.39 million viewers. Andy Murray’s win over Milos Raonic two years ago averaged 1.79 million, while three years ago, Djokovic’s win over Federer averaged 2.38 million. Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber’s win over Serena Williams on Saturday saw 1.49 million viewers, up big from 937,000 viewers for Garbine Muguruza-Venus Williams in last year’s final. Serena Williams’ win over Kerber two years ago averaged 1.6 million, while her win over Muguruza in ’15 averaged 1.43 million.

HALFTIME REPORT: MLB at the All-Star break is seeing a rise on broadcast TV, but sharp drops on cable. Primetime regionalized windows on Fox are up 10% compared to the same point in ’17 (2.52 million viewers vs. 2.29 million). But on FS1, viewership is down 14% (417,000 vs. 484,000 viewers). ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” package is also down 8% (last year’s season opener on the network is not included in that comparison). This year’s games are averaging 1.56 million viewers vs. 1.7 million last year. ESPN’s drop could close in the second half with more Red Sox-Yankees games. But last year, “SNB” had zero of those matchups at the ASG break, and had three after the break. Meanwhile, local ratings for MLB clubs are a mixed bag at the break. Overall, the local average is flat for MLB clubs (excluding Toronto). Among those 29 U.S. teams, 15 teams are up locally, while 14 are down.

PIGGYBACK RIDE: MLS rode the strong audience for France-Croatia in the FIFA World Cup final to one of its best regular-season viewership on record. Sounders-Atlanta United aired just following France-Croatia on Fox, averaging 1.56 million viewers, which is the fourth-best MLS regular-season match on record. Sunday afternoon’s audience ranked higher than any MLS Cup since ’97, when DC United-Rapids averaged 2.22 million viewers on ABC.

OIL CHECK: NBCSN on Saturday night averaged 2.26 million viewers for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400, marking a new low for the primetime race at Kentucky Speedway. The Kentucky telecast has declined each of the last five years. Last year’s race averaged 2.71 million viewers, while the race two years ago drew 3.19 million. The Kentucky race debuted in ’11 on TNT to 4.97 million viewers.

The chart below lists final audience figures from select recent sports telecasts. Moving forward, THE DAILY will start running Audience Analysis on Wednesday.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS
(000)
FIFA World Cup Final: France-Croatia
7/15
Fox
10:40am-1:00pm
6.2
11,333
FIFA World Cup: Third Place Game: Belgium-England
7/14
Fox
9:41am-12:00pm
1.9
3,017
MLB: (regional)
7/14
Fox
7:12-10:36pm
1.5
2,373
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
Quaker State 400 (Kentucky)
7/14
NBCSN
7:54-10:33pm
1.3
2,264
PGA Tour: John Deere Classic: Final Round
7/15
CBS
3:00-6:00pm
1.1
1,717
MLS: Sounders-Atlanta United
7/15
Fox
2:00-4:30pm
0.9
1,558
Wimbledon: Women's Final: Angelique Kerber
d. Serena Williams
7/14
ESPN
8:00am-4:45pm
1.0
1,485
PGA Tour: John Deere Classic: Third Round
7/14
CBS
3:00-6:00pm
0.9
1,238
Wimbledon: Men's Semifinals*
7/13
ESPN
8:00am-6:05pm
n/a
1,097
Wimbledon: Men's Final:
Novak Djokovic d. Kevin Anderson
7/15
ESPN
8:55am-3:00pm
0.7
1,056
Wimbledon: Women's Final: Angelique Kerber
d. Serena Williams (replay)
7/14
ABC
3:00-6:00pm
0.7
1,022
Golf: American Century Championship
7/15
NBC
2:45-6:00pm
0.7
1,021
Tour de France: Stage 8
7/14
NBC
7:30-10:45am
0.7
937
European Tour: Scottish Open: Final Round
7/15
NBC
12:30-2:45pm
0.6
908
Golf: American Century Championship
7/14
NBC
3:00-6:00pm
0.6
804
European Tour: Scottish Open: Third Round
7/14
NBC
12:30-3:00pm
0.6
785
Wimbledon: Men's Final: Novak Djokovic
d. Kevin Anderson (replay)
7/15
ABC
3:00-6:00pm
0.5
764
NASCAR Xfinity Series: Alsco 300 (Kentucky)
7/13
NBCSN
8:34-10:50pm
n/a
763
UFC Fight Night: Junior dos Santos d. Blagoy Ivanov
7/14
FS1
10:00pm-1:14am
0.5
754
Wimbledon: Women's Semifinals
7/12
ESPN
8:00am-1:00pm
n/a
673
World Series of Poker: Final Table
7/14
ESPN
9:00pm-6:00am
0.5
670
Tough Mudder X: Richmond (taped)
7/14
CBS
1:00-2:00pm
0.4
613
Wimbledon: quarterfinals
7/11
ESPN
8:00am-4:20pm
n/a
596
Major League Fishing (taped)
7/14
CBS
2:00-3:00pm
0.4
584
UFC Fight Night: prelims
7/14
FS1
8:00-10:00pm
0.3
572
"World of X Games"
7/14
ABC
2:00-3:00pm
0.4
548
Lucas il Off Road Racing (taped)
7/15
CBS
2:00-3:00pm
0.4
499
Soccer friendly: Tigres UANL-Santos Laguna
7/15
Univision
8:34-11:03pm
0.3
432
Formula E Championship (N.Y.)
7/14
Fox
3:30-4:45pm
0.3
412

NOTE: * = Djokovic-Nadal finished on Saturday morning due to time delay.

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