Ratings Roundup: Full MLB Division Series Rundown; NFL Slump Continues

Ratings roundup is a rundown of ratings news from the past week and is derived from based on press releases and reports around the web. In this week’s edition, a full rundown of the MLB Postseason numbers for the ALDS and NLDS, NFL week 5 ratings, week 6 of the college football season, record-breaking numbers for ESPN’s WNBA Finals, and more.

MLB Postseason: ALDS and NLDS Rundown
mlb_postseasonThe Chicago Cubs’ National League Division Series clinching victory over the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night propelled FS1 to the most-watched telecast in the network’s history, delivering an average audience of 6,368,000 viewers (according to Fast Nationals). Tuesday night’s record viewership for FS1 (6,368,000 viewers) edged out Game 5 of last year’s ALDS (Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals) the network’s previous record holder, by +7% (vs. 5,944,000 viewers), and is up +62% over 2014’s NLDS Game 4 (San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals) that aired in the late window on FS1 (vs. 3,921,000 viewers).

FOX Deportes also saw growth Tuesday night with Cubs vs. Giants, drawing an average of 140,000 viewers, up +155% over last year’s Blue Jays vs. Rangers ALDS Game 4 (vs. 55,000 viewers). In the later innings, Tuesday night’s game peaked with 6,953,000 viewers watching on FS1 and topped out at 189,000 viewers watching on FOX Deportes. When combined, Tuesday night’s game peaked with over 7 million viewers watching between FS1 and FOX Deportes.

On the digital front, FOX Sports GO’s average minute audience was 115,929, which is the highest average minute audience of any authenticated event in FS GO history. (Fox Sports)…

…On Oct. 10, Game 3 of the same NLDS series, a 13-inning Giant’s comeback thriller, notched a 2.5 final rating and 4.1 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 Monday night, up 1% in ratings and 3% in viewership from Dodgers/Mets on TBS last year (2.4, 4.0M) and up 32% and 42%, respectively, from Dodgers/Cardinals on FS1 in 2014 (1.9, 2.9M). The game game peaked at 4,951,000 viewers between 11:30pm – 12:00am ET, and did not fall below 3 million viewers from that point through the game’s final out.

When combined with FOX Deportes’ peak of 139,000 viewers, the game topped out at over 5 million viewers between 11:30pm – 12:00am ET. FOX Deportes delivered 101,000 total viewers for Monday night’s Cubs at Giants broadcast, +11% above total viewers for its presentation from Game 3 of last year’s ALDS between the Blue Jays and Rangers (91,000 total viewers) (Fox Sports and SMW)…

…MLB Network’s two 2016 NLDS game telecasts led to its best combined Postseason game viewership in history, with an average 1.7 HH rating and 2.8 million viewers, up 55% and 75% respectively over 2015. Monday’s NLDS Game Three between the Nationals/Dodgers drew a 1.0 household score to the channel with 1.5 million viewers. (Cynopsis Sports)…

 …Sunday’s ALDS Game 3 between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers delivered an average audience of 4.73 million viewers (2+) becoming Sportsnet’s most-watched program of 2016 and third most-watched broadcast of all time. More than 10 million viewers watched some part of Sunday’s Game 3 broadcast on Sportsnet. Audience levels peaked at 7.03 million at 11:02 p.m. ET in the bottom of the 10th inning immediately following Josh Donaldson crossing home plate with the game-winning run, securing a spot for the Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series.
Following the game, 2.07 million viewers stayed locked to Sportsnet, watching Sportsnet Central’s post-game coverage – most in network history. Prior to the game, 1.43 million viewers watched Blue Jays Central pre-game show – also the most in history. (Sportsnet)…
NBC Drops Puck on NHL Season With Big Opener
NBCSN’s doubleheader coverage of NHL “Face-Off” on Wednesday night produced the most-watched regular-season doubleheader in the network’s history. The opening night Wednesday Night Rivalry twin bill, featuring 2016 Stanley Cup Playoff rematches between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, and the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, combined to average 696,000 viewers, up 3% percent vs. the previous record (679,000; 10/8/14; Flyers-Bruins and Sharks-Kings).

The Blues’ 5-2 win over the Blackhawks (8:01-10:41 p.m. ET) averaged 905,000 viewers, making it the fifth most-watched NHL regular-season game in NBCSN history, and peaking with nearly 1.1 million viewers (1.076 million) from 10:30-10:41 p.m. ET. It was NBCSN’s most-watched regular-season game ever featuring the Blues.

San Jose’s 2-1 win vs. Los Angeles (10:41 p.m.-1:18 a.m. ET) averaged 484,000 viewers, up 22% vs. the same matchup on opening night last year, and ranking as the second most-watched regular-season late game of a doubleheader (Wild-Blackhawks; 588,000, 3/20/16) in NBCSN history.

Locally, Blues-Blackhawks produced a 6.1 rating in St. Louis to rank as the market’s second most-watched Blues game ever on NBCSN. Chicago produced a 5.2 rating for Blues-Blackhawks, followed by San Jose (1.4) and Los Angeles (1.1) for Kings-Sharks.

Last night’s Capitals-Penguins game, which featured the Penguins raising their Stanley Cup championship banner, delivered a 0.32 overnight rating, up 78% vs. the 2015-16 regular-season non-exclusive time period average (0.18). Pittsburgh posted an 8.2 local rating, making NBCSN the No. 1 network in the market during the game, while Washington delivered a 1.3 rating. (NBC Sports)…

NFL Week 5
The Week 5 Cardinals/49ers Thursday Night Football game had a 7.4 final rating and 12.1 million viewers on CBS and NFL Network, down 22% in ratings and 20% in viewership from Colts/Texans last year (9.5, 15.1M), down 24% and 27%, respectively, from Vikings/Packers in 2014 (9.8, 16.5M) – and the lowest rated primetime game on broadcast TV since 2008. (SMW)
Fox’s Week 5 NFL singleheader window, featuring Falcons/Broncos in 43% of markets or Eagles/Lions in 37%, earned a 9.4 final rating and 16.5 million viewers on FOX Sunday afternoon — down 14% in ratings and 9% in viewership from last year (10.9, 18.0M) and down 18% and 15%, respectively, from 2014 (11.5, 19.3M). (SMW)
CBS’s Week 5 NFL national window, featuring Bengals/Cowboys in 80% of markets, earned a 12.1 final rating and 21.3 million viewers on CBS Sunday afternoon — down 20% in ratings and 18% in viewership from coverage featuring Patriots/Cowboys last year (15.2, 26.1M) but up 5% and 8%, respectively, from coverage featuring Chiefs/49es in 2014 (11.5, 19.7M). (SMW)
Running up against the Clinton/Trump Presidential Debate, NBC’s Sunday Night Football
telecast featuring the Giants and Packers had a 9.3 rating and 16.6 million viewers on NBC, per Nielsen fast-nationals — down 21% in ratings and 15% in viewership from 49ers/Giants last year (11.8, 19.6M) and down 21% and 14%, respectively, from Patriots/Bengals in 2014 (11.7, 19.4M). (SMW)
ESPN’s Buccaneers/Panthers Monday Night Football game had a 5.6 final rating and 9.1 million viewers on ESPN, down 27% in ratings and 26% in viewership from Steelers/Chargers last year (7.7, 12.2M) and down 32% and 31%, respectively, from Seattle/Washington in 2014 (8.2, 13.1M). (SMW)
For more in-depth ratings analysis on Week 5 of the NFL season, visit SportsMediaWatch.com.

College Football Week 6
ESPN/ABC televised five of the six most-watched college football games in week 6, with ABC’s Saturday Night Footballfeaturing Florida State at Miami (8 p.m. ET)  being the most-watched game on an ESPN network. The prime-time, ACC matchup delivered a total live audience (TV + Streaming) of 5,602,000 viewers, up 58% from last year’s week 6 ABC’sSaturday Night Football game, which was also Seminoles vs. Hurricanes.

On ESPN in prime time, Alabama at Arkansas (7 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 4,539,000 viewers, the network’s most-watched game since the season’s kickoff week and third most-watched overall this season. The Top 25, SEC West matchup was ESPN’s most-streamed game of the week with an average minute audience of 95,000 viewers and a total of 485,000 unique viewers watching 21,273,000 minutes — up 27%, 34%, and 30%, respectively, from the comparable window last year, which was also the Crimson Tide vs. Razorbacks matchup.

Indiana at Ohio State (3:30 p.m. on ESPN): A total live audience of 3,304,000 viewers, up 24% from last year’s comparable window (LSU vs. South Carolina).  Auburn at Mississippi State (Noon on ESPN): A total live audience of 1,977,000 viewers, up 26% from last year’s comparable window (Indiana at Penn State).Clemson at Boston College (Friday, October 7, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN): A total live audience 1,702,000 viewers, up 10% from last year’s comparable window (NC State at Virginia Tech).

ESPN2 saw audience increases in its three full national games: Iowa at Minnesota (noon) had a total live audience of1,078,000 viewers,  Michigan at Rutgers (7 p.m.) earned 1,322,000 viewers and  UCLA-Arizona State (10:30 p.m.) had 801,000 viewers — up 4%, 12%, and 206%, respectively, year over year (Illinois at Iowa (noon), Oklahoma State at West Virginia (7 p.m.), and Wyoming at Air Force (11 p.m.). ESPNU Sees Audience Growth: TCU at Kansas (noon), Iowa State at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m.) and Texas Tech at Kansas State (7:15 p.m.) delivered total audiences of 342,000 viewers, 676,000 viewers and 719,000 viewers, respectively. The audiences represented year over year growth of 272%, 174%, and 153%, respectively, from the network’s comparable windows last season – Tulane at Temple (Noon), Minnesota at Purdue (3:30 p.m.) and East Carolina at BYU (7 p.m.). (ESPN)…

Ratings Odds and Ends
Sunday’s Game 1 of the 2016 WNBA Finals was the most-watched Game 1 ever on ABC, with an average audience of 597,000, according to Nielsen. The game, which featured a 78-76 buzzer-beating win by the Los Angeles Sparks over the Minnesota Lynx was the most-watched WNBA Finals Game 1 since 1998 across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. The game earned a 0.4 U.S. household rating and peaked with 693,000 viewers and a 0.5 U.S. rating from 4:45 – 5:08 p.m. ET. The top five local markets were: Minneapolis (2.1); Nashville (1.4); Hartford-New Haven (1.3); Louisville (1.0); Charlotte (0.9). Los Angeles delivered a 0.4 metered market rating. (ESPN)…

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