Ratings Roundup: Tiger Woods Drives NBC to Tour Championship Ratings Record; Cleveland Browns Victory Lead NFL Week 3

Ratings roundup is a rundown of rating news from the past week and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Tiger Woods wins the Tour Championship on Sunday afternoon, NFL Week 3 kicked off with the Cleveland Browns defeating the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football, the Pac-12 matchup between Stanford and Oregon closed out Week 4 of college football, Univision Deportes broadcasts Week 1 of the UEFA Champions League, and UniMás televised the most-watched Liga MX match of the season.

Tiger Woods Finds Winner Circle for the First Time Since 2013
NBC Sports Group’s final round coverage of the TOUR Championship on Sunday (3:00-6:19 p.m. ET) garnered a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 7.8 million average viewers, as Tiger Woods claimed his 80th career victory, and his first in five years. The telecast’s TAD was up 212% vs. 2017 (2.5m). Television viewership posted 7.18 million average viewers, up 192% YOY (2.46m) and a 4.45 U.S. household rating, up 178% vs. 2017 (1.60). It also becomes the most-watched telecast in the history of the FedExCup Playoffs (2007-2018) and the most-watched PGA TOUR telecast in 2018 (excludes majors).

Coverage peaked from 5:45-6 p.m. ET with 10.84 million average viewers as Woods finished his TOUR Championship-winning round and Justin Rose sealed his season-long victory as the FedExCup champion. The peak viewership number trails only the Masters (16.84m) and PGA Championship (12.39m) in 2018. The extended coverage window (1:30-6:19 p.m. ET) drew 5.89 million average viewers and a 3.69 U.S. household rating to become the most-watched and highest-rated TOUR Championship telecast on record (1991-2018).

Sunday’s final round saw 18.4 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports Digital platforms (+561% year-over-year), and becomes NBC Sports’ most-streamed Sunday round (excluding majors) on record (2013-’18).

Sunday’s lead-in coverage on Golf Channel (11:54 a.m.-1:25 p.m. ET) also garnered a Total Audience Delivery of 829K average viewers and posted a .56 U.S. household rating, becoming the most-watched and highest rated lead-in telecast of the TOUR Championship ever (2007-2018). Golf Channel was the No. 2 Sports Network during this window and No. 7 out of all Nielsen-rated cable networks during that span.

NFL Week 3 Begins With A Cleveland Browns Victory on Thursday Night Football
NFL Network’s telecast of Thursday Night Football between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, which featured the professional debut of number one pick Baker Mayfield against number three pick Sam Darnold, averaged a 5.2 US HH rating and over 8.6 million overall P2+ viewers ranking as the network’s highest rated and most-watched exclusive Thursday night game since December of 2015 (MIN@ARI, 12/10/15; 5.47 US HH rating / 8.74M P2+ viewers).

Overall, the game was up +17% in US HH rating and up +16% in overall P2+ viewership compared to NFL Network’s Week 3 Thursday Night Football game from 2017 (LAR@SF: 4.4 US HH rating / 7.5M P2+ viewers).

With Cleveland down 14-0, Mayfield entered the game at the end of the first half and ultimately led the Browns to a 21-17 victory. The game peaked at 10.3M viewers during the game’s final six minutes (11:30p-11:36p).

Compared to NFL Network’s seven exclusive Thursday Night Football games in 2017, the Jets-Browns was up +43% in US HH rating and up +41% in overall P2+ viewership (3.6 US HH rating / 6.1M P2+ viewers).

The Jets-Browns game outperformed last week’s Thursday Night Football game by +24% in US HH rating and +22% overall P2+ viewership (BAL@CIN; 4.2 US HH rating / 7.1M P2+ viewers)…

…According to SportsMediaWatch, the singleheader on CBS earned a 7.0 rating and 11.9 million viewers. It was the lowest rated and least-watched Week 3 singleheader since 2004 (6.0, 10.3M). Also, this is the biggest drop in the first four weeks of the season with no other window dropping more than 19% in either the ratings or viewers category…

…The national window on Fox, featuring the Cowboys-Seahawks in most markets, captured a 12.7 rating and 22.2 million viewers. Those figures are up 4% in ratings and viewership from last year (mostly Bengals-Packers: 12.2, 21.3M) and up 1% in both measures from 2016 (mostly Steelers-Eagles: 12.6, 22.0M), both on CBS. (SMW)…

…NBC’s latest edition of Sunday Night Football saw the Patriots and Lions earn an 11.5 rating and bring in 19.5 million viewers — up 14% in ratings and 11% in viewership from last year (Oakland-Washington: 10.1, 17.5M), but down 2% and 6% respectively from 2016 (Bears-Cowboys: 11.7, 20.6M) (SMW)…

…The Monday Night Football telecast (8:15-11:45 p.m. ET) — a Pittsburgh Steelers’ 30-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — averaged 12.1 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen, helping ESPN win the night among all networks, broadcast or cable, in households, viewers, and all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, 25 54). Steelers-Buccaneers was also the highest-rated telecast of the night across all broadcast and cable networks among the same key male and adult demos.

On ESPN, Steelers-Buccaneers averaged a 7.2 US household rating and 12.0 million viewers. The telecast peaked from 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET with an 8.3 US household rating and 13.9 million viewers. On ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, Steelers-Buccaneers averaged an additional 107,000 viewers.

As for local markets, the game delivered a 9.1 rating on ESPN and a 31.9 rating on WTAE-ABC, for a combined 41.0 rating in Pittsburgh. In Tampa Bay-St. Pete, the game delivered a 10.8 rating on ESPN and a 10.2 rating on WMOR-ABC, for a combined 21.0 rating in the market. The top metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): New Orleans (15.2), Norfolk (13.6), Baltimore (13.5), Cleveland (12.6), Buffalo, Columbus and Richmond-Petersburg (11.4), Washington D.C. (11.2), Dayton (11.1), Kansas City (10.8).

Week 4 of College Football Capped Off by Stanford-Oregon Overtime Finish
The SEC on CBS matchup between Alabama and Texas A&M scored a 3.5 overnight rating, which is up 94% from last year (Alabama-Vanderbilt: 1.8), but down 5% from 2016 (Florida-Tennessee: 3.7). The 3.5 was the highest college football overnight of the weekend, marking the first time all season that CBS has topped the charts. (SMW)…

…A Texas shootout between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Longhorns scored a 2.0 rating on Fox, down 17% from last year. As for the Wisconsin-Iowa nightcap, the game captured a 1.0 rating — down 17% from Notre Dame-Michigan State last year (2.4) (SMW)…

…ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Stanford at Oregon (8 p.m. ET) delivered a 3.0 overnight, the best overnight featuring two Pac-12 teams on ESPN/ABC since Nov. 22, 2014 (64 games, including seven SNF games). The telecast delivered a total live audience of 4,259,000 viewers as well. The overnight set the pace in primetime, beatings its broadcast competition by 58%.

The Cardinal-Ducks rating peaked at a 4.1 as the Cardinal completed their fourth-quarter comeback which resulted in one overtime period (11:15 – 11:45 p.m.) Among local markets, Portland led the way with a 16.4 local rating. The complete top 10: Portland, OR (16.4), San Francisco (5.2), Seattle-Tacoma (5.0), Tulsa (4.6), Dayton (4.5), Los Angeles (4.3), Columbus, OH (4.1), Birmingham (3.9), New Orleans/Phoenix (3.8)

Week 1 of UEFA Champions League Action Airs on Univision Deportes
Soccer fans showed their enthusiasm for the global game this week, tuning into Univision Deportes’ 2018 UEFA Champions League telecasts in record numbers on the first two days of live action. Strengthening its position as the undisputed Home of Soccer in the U.S., Univision Deportes scored the two most-viewed Group Stage telecasts in the U.S. in Champions League history, regardless of language, as part of the most-watched opening week of the Group Stage.

Univision Deportes delivered all 16 Group Stage matches on Tuesday and Wednesday, including 10 on its linear networks – Univision, UniMás, UDN, and Galavisión. The linear telecasts delivered 292 million minutes watched, making Univision Deportes’ coverage the most-watched opening week of the Champions League Group Stage on U.S. television, driven by both the delivery of more matches than ever before and strong viewership.

Airing in the 2:51 p.m. ET timeslot Tuesday on Univision and Univision Deportes Network (UDN), Liverpool’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain became the most-viewed Group Stage telecast in Champions League history, averaging 672,000 Total Viewers 2+ and 338,000 Adults 18-49. Women accounted for 34% of the Adult 18-49 audience for the match, compared to an average of 25% for Spanish-language Champions League telecasts last season on ESPN Deportes.

Earlier on Tuesday, F.C. Barcelona’s 4-0 drubbing of PSV Eindhoven scored 618,000 Total Viewers 2+ and 315,000 Adults 18-49 in its 12:30 pm window on Univision and UDN. Trailing only the later Liverpool-PSG matchup, the Barcelona victory ranked as the second most-watched Group Stage telecast in Champions League history. This match also did particularly well with female viewers, who accounted for 36% of the Adult 18-49 audience.

Tigres UANL-Monterrey Lead Liga MX Ratings on UniMás
Last week, UniMás delivered week-to-week audience gains during primetime among Total Viewers 2+ (+7% to 336,000), Adults 18-49 (+6% to 167,000) and Adults 18-34 (+4% to 71,000).

UniMás out-delivered the CW network in primetime among Adults 18-34 (+20% adv.) this past week.

Sunday’s Mexican soccer match between Tigres UANL and Monterrey (9-11pm) garnered UniMás’ largest Liga MX audience of the season among Total Viewers 2+ (625,000). It also tied the network’s largest Liga MX audience this season among Adults 18-49 (312,000). Paired with Santos Laguna vs. Veracruz, Liga MX drove UniMás to more Total Viewers 2+ (+24% to 525,000), Adults 18-49 (+15% to 256,000) and Adults 18-34 (+17% to 109,000) to the 7 pm to 11 pm time slot compared to the prior Sunday.

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