Ratings Roundup: NBA Draft Tied For Best Ever Overnight on ESPN; Fox’s U.S. Open Debut, Women’s World Cup Both Up Big

he 2015 NBA Draft, which aired exclusively on ESPN, delivered a 3.1 overnight rating, according to metered market ratings from Nielsen. It matched last year as the highest-rated NBA Draft telecast ever on ESPN. The telecast peaked between 8 -8:15 p.m. ET with a 4.2 rating. The NBA Draft telecast delivered a record 8.5 rating in the top-ranked Louisville market, which is the best rating the market has ever produced for the NBA Draft. Additionally, the Philadelphia market delivered its best-ever NBA Draft rating – a 5.0…

The final round of Fox’s first ever U.S. Open posted a 4.2 household rating, averaging 6.7 million viewers on FOX broadcast network, a +46% increase over the U.S. Open’s final round in 2014 (4.6 million). The 4.2 rating versus 2014’s 3.0 marked the largest year-over-year gain for the final round since 1991-1992 (4.7/15 to 7.0/19). Sunday’s final-round broadcast peaked with 11.2 million viewers from 10:00–10:30 PM ET as audiences watched Spieth birdie the 18th hole and runner-up Dustin Johnson finish in the final group with a disappointing three-putt to finish one shot back. The primetime portion of Sunday’s telecast averaged a 5.3 rating and 8.7 million viewers from 7:00-10:46 PM ET, winning the night among the broadcast networks and giving FOX its most-watched Sunday night in primetime since Jan. 4 (NFC Wild Card Playoffs). In comparison to 2014’s final round, the final round broadcast showed significant ratings jumps across multiple key demographics, including: men 18-34, +63% (1.3 vs. 0.8) and men 18-49, +46%, (1.9 vs. 1.3). Top five markets for Sunday’s final-round coverage: Seattle (11.4), Jacksonville (6.8), Columbus (6.7), Louisville (6.6) and Las Vegas (6.5).

Four-day coverage of the 115th U.S. Open Championship averaged a combined 3.5 million viewers each day across FOX and FOX Sports 1, a +40% increase over last year’s combined average on ESPN and NBC (2.5 million viewers). According to a custom analysis provided by Nielsen, the almost 40 hours of coverage of the 2015 U.S. Open reached a total of 34.9 million viewers. FOX broadcast network coverage averaged 4.8 million viewers over the U.S. Open’s four days, a +41% increase over NBC’s average audience in 2014 (3.5 million viewers). The expanded coverage had a positive impact on total minutes of viewing.  Compared to last year, for example, this year’s U.S. Open was up an impressive +40% on average audience (3.5 million watching any given minute vs. 2.5 million last year), but up by +63% in total minutes viewed (8.4 billion minutes to 5.2 billion last year).

Sunday’s final round was also the second most-watched event ever on FOX Sports Go. Through FOX Sports GO, USOpen.com and the U.S. Open official app, total live streams started were up +354% (5.9 million vs. 1.3 million) over 2014.  Additionally, total streamed minutes reached 158 million, eclipsing the U.S. Open’s previous high of 130 million minutes in 2012…

… Last Wednesday’s Golf Central Live From The U.S. Open and Morning Drive drove Golf Channel to its most-watched U.S. Open Wednesday Total Day audience (133,000 Avg Viewers/Minute), up 13% vs. 2012 at Olympic, most recent comparable West Coast hosted U.S. Open, and up 22% vs. 2014 at Pinehurst. Golf Central’s Live From The U.S. Open (9 pm to 11 pm EST) peaked from 9:00P to 10:00P p.m. ET with a .3 Cvg. Rtg; 263,000 viewers per minute, and was the 3rd most-watched early week (Mon/Tues/Wed) edition of any Golf Central Live From The U.S. Open on record (2006-2015). Morning Drive at the Majors (9 am-10 am EST) posted a 0.13 Cvg. Rtg, 114,000 viewers per minute, and 52,000 P25-54 viewers per minute. This is the 2nd most-watched early week (Mon/Tues/Wed) hour of Morning Drive at the Majors among Adults 25-54 on record (2011-2015).

…The U.S. Women’s National Team won 2-0 win over Columbia last Friday attracted 4.7 million viewers, setting a new record for soccer on FOX Sports 1, beating the previous mark of 3.3 million set earlier in the tournament (U.S.-Australia Group Stage) by 42%.  It is the most-watched soccer match on cable since last year’s World Cup. Viewership for the match peaked at 6.4 million in the 9:30-9:45 PM ET quarter hour. With an audience of 4.7 million, USA – Colombia now ranks as the third most-watched program in FOX Sports 1 history, trailing only Game 4 (5.1 million) and Game 5 (4.9 million) of the 2014 National League Championship Series featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. St. Louis led all metered markets with a 5.3 rating, followed by Washington, D.C. (5.0), Philadelphia (4.9), Orlando (4.4), Norfolk (4.3), Richmond (4.2), Sacramento (4.0), New York (3.9), Los Angeles (3.9) and Seattle (3.8).

Combined average viewership for the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2015 on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 through Sunday’s Round of 16 matches, plus the USA – Colombia match last night,  is 1.0 million, +79% compared to the complete Group Stage average on ESPN/ESPN2 in 2011 (559,000).

While third in average audience, USA – Colombia is the most-watched telecast in FOX Sports 1 history among Adults 18-49 with 2.3 million viewers, dropping UFC FIGHT NIGHT: MCGREGOR VS. SIVER (1/18/15) to second (1.7 million). USA – Colombia is the second most-watched match of the tournament, not only topping the USA – Australia Group Stage match on FOX Sports 1 (3.3 million), but also USA – Sweden on FOX broadcast network (4.5 million).

USA – Colombia delivered FOX Sports GO over 120,000 unique streamers, making it the highest viewed simulcast in the app’s history, besting the 2014 World Series Game 7 simulcast by +17% (103,000 uniques)…

…A record 2.8 million viewers (according Numeris overnights) tuned into CTV, TSN, and RDS on June 21 to see Canada secure its spot in the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP quarter-finals.The match was the most-watched program on Canadian television on Sunday. Overall, 6.9 million unique Canadian viewers tuned in for Canada’s 1-0 victory over Switzerland, which was decided by forward Josée Bélanger’s second-half goal…

… ESPN’s expanded coverage of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships led to record viewership for the event on ESPN networks.  The four-day competition (June 10-13), featuring 12 hours of television coverage across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, averaged 367,000 viewers, making it the most-watched NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship on ESPN (records date to 2009). Additionally, the men’s championship (Friday, June 12 on ESPN) and the women’s championship (Saturday, June 13 on ESPN2) averaged 579,000 and 534,000 viewers, respectively, the No. 1 and No. 2 most-watched sessions of the Outdoor Track and Field Championships ever on ESPN networks. Oklahoma City was the highest rated market, followed by Portland, New Orleans, Kansas City and Atlanta.

In addition to expanded television coverage, ESPN3 offered more than 25 hours of coverage from Hayward Field.  Combined with WatchESPN, users consumed more than 4,600,000 minutes of competition, a 138% increase over the 2014 Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship on the same platforms.

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