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Volume 25 No. 199
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Audience Analysis: Red River Rivalry Has Best Viewership Since '11

The return of the annual Texas-Oklahoma game to broadcast TV was a boon for the game’s noon ET audience. Fox, airing the matchup for the first time, drew 5.61 million viewers, marking the Red River Rivalry’s best audience since ABC drew 6.53 million viewers in ’11. Last year, ESPN in the 3:30pm window drew 3.62 million viewers. FS1 aired the game at noon in ’16, drawing 2.79 million viewers for the matchup, which was also the first time the game had been off ABC in 18 years. Texas-Oklahoma is Fox’ best CFB game this season to date. Fox Sports Go had an average minute audience of 86,765 viewers, which is the streaming platform’s best CFB game this season and best Big 12 game on record. It also is Fox Sports Go’s third-best CFB stream all-time, behind only last season’s Penn State-Ohio State and Ohio State-Michigan games.

RED RIVER RIVALRY AUDIENCE TREND
YEAR
NET
START (ET)
VIEWERS (000)
'18
Fox
12:00pm
5,608
'17
ESPN
3:30pm
3,619
'16
FS1
11:58am
2,788
'15
ABC
12:00pm
4,992
'14
ABC
12:01pm
4,236
'13
ABC
12:00pm
4,713
'12
ABC
12:00pm
5,400
'11
ABC
12:00pm
6,533
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Red River Rivalry audience trend

PIGGYBACK RIDES: Following Red Sox-Yankees Game 1 on Friday night, TBS averaged around 700,000 viewers for ELeague coverage, marking the most-viewed esports program on cable TV to date. The telecast featuring the game “Counter Strike: Global Offensive” aired from 11:37pm-12:38am ET. ELeague now occupies the top three spots on cable TV all-time for esports telecasts. Meanwhile, leading into Saturday night’s UFC 229 on PPV, which featured Khabib Nurmagomedov-Conor McGregor, FS1 averaged 1.31 million viewers for prelim fights. That figure is up from 653,000 viewers on FX on the same weekend last year for the prelims of UFC 216, and marks the biggest UFC prelims audience in nearly two years. Saturday also marks FS1’s 10th best UFC prelims on record. FS1 on Thursday also drew 403,000 viewers for “Lock It In,” marking the sports gambling show’s best figure yet for a first-run episode on the net. On Sunday, on the heels of CBS’ NFL singleheader weekend, PBR had its best viewership of the ’18 season on CBS from 5:00-6:00pm. The event from Milwaukee averaged 2.13 million viewers.

NOTES: The NBA said that the Mavericks-76ers game in Shanghai on Oct. 5 drew 42.7 million unique viewers on CCTV5, the most-viewed NBA game in China since '14.

The chart below lists final audience figures for select recent sports telecasts.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RATING
VIEWERS
(000)
NFL: Vikings-Eagles (82%)
10/7
Fox
4:25-7:00pm
12.2
21,044
"SNF": Cowboys-Texans
10/7
NBC
8:23-11:48pm
10.7
18,588
NFL: (regional)
10/7
Fox
1:00-4:15pm
8.2
13,655
"MNF": Chiefs-Broncos
10/1
ESPN
8:16-11:23pm
7.9
13,535
NFL: (singleheader)
10/7
CBS
1:00-4:05pm
8.0
13,330
"TNF": Colts-Patriots
10/4
Fox/
NFL Net
8:23-11:04pm
8.0
13,273
"Football Night in America"
10/7
NBC
7:30-8:14pm
4.0
6,734
NL Wild Card: Rockies-Cubs
10/2
ESPN
8:00pm-1:10am
3.8
6,462
AL Wild Card: Yankees-A's
10/3
TBS
8:00-11:47pm
3.8
6,194
College football: Texas-Oklahoma
10/6
Fox
12:00-3:45pm
3.5
5,608
ALDS: Red Sox-Yankees: Game 1
10/5
TBS
7:24-11:18pm
3.4
5,571
ALDS: Red Sox-Yankees: Game 2
10/6
TBS
7:57-11:53pm
3.0
5,059
College football: LSU-Florida
10/6
CBS
3:30-7:15pm
2.9
4,703
"Fox NFL Sunday"
10/7
Fox
12:00-1:00pm
3.0
4,515
College football: Notre Dame-Virginia Tech
10/6
ABC
8:07-11:47pm
2.7
4,473
College football: Indiana-Ohio State
10/6
Fox
3:30-7:00pm
2.5
3,988
NLDS: Dodgers-Braves: Game 3
10/7
FS1
8:00-11:48pm
1.8
3,022
"The NFL Today"
10/7
CBS
12:00-1:00pm
2.0
3,005
College football: Florida State-Miami
10/6
ABC
4:29-7:45pm
1.8
2,810
NL West tiebreaker: Rockies-Dodgers
10/1
ESPN
4:16-7:33pm
n/a
2,688
College football: Kentucky-Texas A&M
10/6
ESPN
7:00-10:36pm
1.4
2,547
NL Central tiebreaker: Brewers-Cubs
10/1
ESPN
1:00-4:16pm
n/a
2,532
ALDS: Astros-Indians: Game 2
10/6
TBS
4:30-7:57pm
1.6
2,497
College football: Maryland-Michigan
10/6
ABC
12:00-12:15pm;
1:00-4:30pm
1.5
2,329
PBR: Ariat Invitational (Milwaukee)
10/7
CBS
5:00-6:00pm
1.4
2,126
College football: Washington-UCLA
10/6
Fox
7:54-10:55pm
1.3
2,027
"Fox NFL Kickoff"
10/7
Fox
11:00am-12:00pm
0.8
1,176
Liga MX: UNAM Pumas-Chivas
10/6
Univision
10:11pm-12:16am
0.6
1,089
Liga MX: Club America-Tigres UANL
10/6
Univision
7:55-10:11pm
0.5
983
EPL: Newcastle-Manchester United
10/6
NBC
12:30-2:30pm
0.5
789
Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Keeneland
10/7
NBC
4:30-6:00pm
0.5
712
Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Keeneland
10/6
NBC
4:30-6:00pm
0.5
711
Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series (taped)
10/6
CBS
1:30-2:30pm
0.5
620
"World of X Games"
10/7
ABC
4:00-5:00pm
0.3
366
Premiership Rugby: Saracens-Harlequins
10/6
NBC
2:30-4:30pm
0.3
359
Download the
Audience Analysis