Ratings Roundup: Tiger Woods Tees Up Big Ratings for NBC, Golf Channel; NFL Viewership Up 15% Since Election

Ratings roundup is a rundown of ratings news from the past week and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf for the first time in 16 months delivered big ratings for NBC and Golf Channel, NFL viewership is up 15% post election, the League of Legends World Championship final matchup drew a whopping 14.7 million concurrent viewers, the MLS Cup could be in line for a b ratings boost on Fox this weekend, and Univision Deportes scores with Liga MX Semifinals.

golf-channel-logoGolf Channel and NBC’s coverage of the Hero World Challenge and Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf for the first time in 16 months delivered significant ratings increases for the networks. Sunday’s final round live coverage on NBC delivered a .96 US HH rating / 1,397,000 viewers, +67% year over year and +35% from 2014.

Saturday’s live coverage on NBC delivered a 1.38 US HH rating / 2,049,000 viewers, +115% year over year and +86% from 2014. That is the most-watched PGA TOUR Round 3 since the Memorial Round 3 in June, excluding the Majors and Ryder Cup.

Round 2 coverage delivered a .83 coverage rating / 768,000 viewers: +135% year over year and +50% over 2014. That is most-watched Friday Round 2 since The Open Round 2 in July.

Round 1 coverage delivered a .86 coverage rating / 782,000 viewers: +190% year over year and +74% over 2014, the last time Tiger Woods was in the field at this event. that is the most-watched Thursday Round 1 since The Open Round 1 in July and the most-watched Round 1 at this event on Golf Channel (2007-16). Excluding Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, that is the most-watched 4th quarter Round 1 in Golf Channel history (2006-16).

On the digital side, a total of 7.4 million minutes were streamed digitally. The 6th most-streamed golf event this year on Golf Channel/NBC behind The Open, the Olympics, the Ryder Cup and THE PLAYERS Championship.

NFL Viewership Is Up Post-Election
Maybe the NFL ratings really can be blamed on the election. According to CNN, NFL viewership has gone up an average of 15% since Election Day. In 2012, viewership was up 7% and, in 2008, it was up 8% (technically, the league actually saw a decrease in viewership of 5% following Election Day in 2008. But that decline was almost entirely attributable to “Thursday Night Football,” which began only after the election and was shown just on the then-fledgling NFL Network). (CNN)

The upward trend continued for last night’s Kansas City Chiefs/Oakland Raiders game on Thursday Night Football, which averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 17.8 million viewers across all platforms – NBC, NFL Network, Twitter, NBC Sports Digital, and NFL Digital (according to Nielsen Fast Nationals and digital data from Adobe Analytics and Twitter). NBC’s Thursday Night Football last night averaged 17.4 million TV-only viewers – marking the first time this season that consecutive TNF games averaged at least 17 million viewers (21.8 million for Cowboys-Vikings last week). TV viewership on NBC and NFL Network peaked at 18.8 million from 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET. Last night’s game (8:26-11:41 p.m. ET) registered a national household TV rating of 10.5/19.

The Average Minute Audience (AMA) for last night’s live stream via Twitter, NBC Sports Digital, and NFL Digital was 417,000 viewers. For the second consecutive week, more than 80 million live minutes of Thursday Night Football were streamed across NBC Sports Digital, NFL Digital, and Twitter. In total, Twitter reached 3.7 million combined worldwide viewers for pregame coverage and Raiders-Chiefs for a minimum of three seconds with that video being 100% in view. For the Thursday Night Football game alone, Twitter reached 3.1 million viewers. This is the most total viewers for a Thursday Night Football game on Twitter this season (through eight games). The average audience (AMA) watching Thursday Night Football on Twitter properties was 280,000.

Here is breakdown of the NFL’s Week 13 ratings last week:

Colts/Jets earned a 5.0 final rating and 8.1 million viewers on the Week 13 edition of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, down 43% in ratings and viewership from Dallas/Washington last year (8.7, 14.2M). (SMW)

Panthers/Seahawks earned a 10.2 final rating and 17.8 million viewers on the Week 13 edition of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, down 8% in ratings and 7% in viewership from Colts/Steelers last year (11.1, 19.2M). (SMW)

The Week 13 NFL singleheader window earned a 10.8 final rating and 18.5 million viewers on CBS Sunday afternoon, up 6% in ratings and 8% in viewership from last year (10.2, 17.2M). (SMW)

The Week 13 NFL national window, featuring Giants/Steelers in 85% of markets, had a 14.6 final rating and 25.4 million viewers on FOX Sunday afternoon — down 10% in ratings and 11% in viewership from coverage featuring Panthers/Saints last year (16.3, 28.6M). (SMW)

The Week 13 Cowboys/Vikings Thursday Night Football game had a 12.8 rating and 21.8 million viewers on NBC and NFL Network (per Nielsen fast-nationals), up 16% in ratings and 22% in viewership from Packers/Lions on CBS and NFL Network last year (11.0, 17.8M). (SMW)

Visit SportsMediaWatch.com for a more in-depth coverage of the Week 13 NFL ratings.

League of Legends World Championship Peaks at 14.7M Viewers, eLeague on the Rise
According to Riot Games, the 2016 League of Legends World Championship finals were seen by 43 million people worldwide. Peak concurrent viewership for the final matchup hit 14.7 million. The total number of viewers was up over last year’s record of 36 million. A total of 370 million hours of live content was viewed and there were 396 million total cumulative daily unique impressions. (LoLeSports.com)…

…According to reports, season two of ELeague on TBS and Twitch logged 460 million minutes of video consumption on the two platforms, with 15 million total viewers, including 8.8 million new ELeague viewers. TBS added 2.9 million new viewers to the network, which saw audience composition grow 28% in Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 when compared with the same telecast window over the previous month. ELeague telecast on TBS were up 10% over season one, and delivered more than 50 million social impressions. (Cynopsis Sports)…

MLS Cup in Line for Big Ratings Boost on Fox?
The MLS CUP delivered a 0.4 rating last year and hasn’t registered a 1.0 rating since 2001 after peaking at 1.4 in 1996 — the first MLS Cup. But this year could be different due to a few factors: the match features two of the league’s most popular franchises in the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC; the game will air at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Fox, meaning it won’t have to compete against the NFL and will appear on a broadcast network rather than a cable network (ESPN has carried the past seven); and Fox has prominently advertised the soccer game during its NFL and college football broadcasts. Fox’s MLS ratings are up 8% over last year. (The Wrap)

Univision Deportes Scores With Liga MX Semifinals
Univision Deportes coverage of Thursday’s first leg match of the Liga MX Semifinals between Necaxa and América on UDN, delivered 1.2 million Total Viewers 2+ and 705,000 Adults 18-49, making it the most-rated Apertura Semifinal match in UDN’s history – outperforming Monterrey versus América’s December 2014 match. On Sunday, Liga MX Semifinal second leg match between Necaxa and América on Univision Network drew in an astounding 2.8 million Total Viewers 2+ and 1.6 million Adults 18-49. This was the top-rated match of the current Apertura 2016 season. Additionally, this was the most-watched Liga MX Semifinal round match in over nine years, since América and Chivas played in the 2007 Clausura Semifinal round on Univision. The telecast outperformed both legs of the América versus Chivas Quarterfinal match up…

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