Ratings Roundup: Little League World Series Hits All-Time High for ESPN, Mo’ne Davis Throws Most-Watched Game Ever

The 2014 Little League World Series was the most-watched ever on ESPN networks (54 games across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 combined) with an average audience of 1,724,000 viewers (P2+), up 71 percent from 2013. The Little League World Series across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 consisted of 54 games, including the regionals and the Williamsport, Pa. competition. Additionally, the 2014 Little League World Series is the highest-rated since 2002, averaging a 1.1 U.S. rating, which is up 57 percent from 2013. WatchESPN viewership for the average Little League World Series game on ESPN and ESPN2 this year more than doubled in live unique viewers (172 percent) and more than tripled in live minutes viewed (209 percent) compared to 2013. In total, there were 29.1 million live minutes viewed for ESPN and ESPN2 Little League World Series games on WatchESPN, up 203 percent.

Little League World Series Championship weekend (World Championship, U.S. Championship, International Championship) averaged 4,163,000 viewers and a 2.7 U.S. rating, the best in both categories since 2002. The weekend saw a 36 percent viewership increase and a 35 percent ratings increase from 2013. The South Korea versus Japan International Championship game, Aug. 23, is the most-watched and highest-rated International Championship game ever on ABC. It averaged 2,094,000 viewers and a 1.4 U.S. rating, up 21 percent in both categories from 2013. Chicago’s World Championship game against South Korea versus on ABC on Aug. 24 averaged 5,343,000 viewers, up 25% from 2013 and marking the most-watched World Championship broadcast since 2003. Chicago’s U.S Championship matchup against Las Vegas on ABC averaged 5,191,000 viewers, up 65% from 2012 and was the most-watched U.S. Championship broadcast since 2002.

Female starting pitcher sensation Mo’ne Davis led the way for ESPN as Philadelphia’s matchup against Las Vegas on Aug. 20, delivered nearly five million viewers (4,988,000) making it ESPN’s largest audience ever for a Little League World Series game. It was also the most-watched Little League World Series game ever on WatchESPN with more than 107,000 live unique viewers…

…The broadcast networks failed to draw a big crowd for its NFL preseason telecasts last season, according to overnights. NBC Sunday Night Football’s Bengals/Cardinals NFL preseason game drew a 4.8 overnight rating, the lowest overnight for a preseason game on the network since 2008.Earlier Sunday, FOX’s  earned a 4.2 overnight for Chargers/49ers (even with Saints/Texans last year). CBS’s Saints/Colts game on Saturday drew a 3.1 overnight, also even with last year (Rams/Broncos). (SportsMediaNews)…

…ABC’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway last Saturday (Aug. 23) earned a 3.2 U.S. household rating, averaging 5,079,000 viewers, down from last year’s 3.9 rating and 6,322,000 viewers. This year’s race aired on alternate digital channels in 11 markets due to ABC affiliates airing NFL preseason games in those markets. NASCAR strongholds Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY, were among those affected, while the race aired on an alternate station than the ABC affiliate in Charlotte, resulting in 5.6. down from an 8.7 rating in Charlotte while airing on the ABC affiliate. Greenville, SC, was the highest-rated metered market in the nation with an 11.3 rating, followed by Knoxville, Tenn., at 9.3 and Greensboro, N.C., at 9.2.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s live telecast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol on Friday night, Aug. 22, earned a 1.0 rating, averaging 1,631,000 viewers, down from a 1.1 rating and averaged 1,687,000 viewers last year. (Jayski)…

…After Tiger Woods second-place finish drove ratings sky-high last year, a Tiger-less final round of The Barclays earned a 2.3 overnight rating on CBS last Sunday — down 38% from last year (3.7), down 15% from 2012 (2.7), and the lowest overnight for final round coverage since 2008 (1.8). (SportsMediaWatch)

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