Ratings Roundup: Brady-Rodgers Showdown on SNF Snatches Top Rated Game of Season; Bama Blowout Sees 81% Increase From 2017

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, the battle of the G.O.A.T.S in Foxboro brought in the most viewers of any game in the 2018 season thus far, Alabama’s blowout victory does the same in college football, and editions of SportsCenter continue to rack up favorable ratings.

Packers-Patriots Hype Creates Most Watched Game of ’18-19 Season
Packers-Patriots on NBC registered a Total Audience Delivery average of 24.1 million viewers — ranking as the most-watched Week 9 game in the 13-year history of SNF on NBC, and a 66% jump from last year’s Week 9 game (Raiders-Dolphins, 14.5 million), according to official national live + same day data released by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. The game registered a national TV household rating of 13.7/25, became the most watched game of the NFL season, and boosted the program to its highest midseason viewership in three years.

400,000 viewer watched the telecast 0n NBC Sports Digital and NFL Digital platforms – more than tripling last year’s Week 9 game (125,000 for Raiders-Dolphins). Fans consumed a record 85.3 million live streaming minutes across 1.8 million unique devices, up 207% and 213%, respectively, from last year’s Week 9 game. For the season, NBC Sports Digital’s AMA of 356,000 viewers is up 81% from last year through Week 9…

…A Tennessee Titans’ 28-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football averaged 12 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen. This is an increase of 6% vs. last year’s week 9 game.

ESPN won the night among all networks, broadcast or cable, in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, 25-54) for the ninth straight week this fall. Titans-Cowboys was also the highest-rated telecast of the night across all broadcast and cable networks among those same categories.

On ESPN, Titans-Cowboys averaged a 7.2 US household rating and 11,787,000 viewers. The telecast peaked from 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET with an 8.0 US household rating and 13,069,000 viewers. On ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, Titans-Cowboys averaged an additional 169,000 viewers. Titans-Cowboys was the most-watched MNF game on ESPN Deportes in two years (since Houston-Oakland in Nov. 2016).

In Nashville, the game delivered a 9.2 rating on ESPN and an 18.8 rating on WKRN-ABC, for a combined 28.0 rating in the market. In Dallas-Ft. Worth, the game delivered an 8.6 rating on ESPN and a 17.5 rating on WFAA-ABC, for a combined 26.1 rating in the market.

The top metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): San Antonio (16.3), Austin (14.8), New Orleans (14.0), Norfolk (12.9), Houston (12.3), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (12.1), Richmond-Petersburg (11.7), Memphis (11.4) Kansas City (10.7), and San Diego (10.3)…

…America’s Game of the Week on Fox between the Rams and Saints drew a 15.2/29 metered market ratings, +6% over last year’s equivalent matchup (vs. 14.3/26. Fox NFL Sunday posted its best-metered market rating (3/7/10) of the season, +19% over last year’s Week 9 edition (vs. 3.1/8). Fox’s NFL regional window yesterday delivered a 9.2/20 metered market rating, which ties as Fox’s best regional game of the year. On digital, the NFL streaming audience was up +128% year-over-year…

…CBS’ single header average on Sunday scored in the ratings with an increase of +23% for Week 9 of the NFL season.

The NFL on CBS’ coverage earned a 10.0/21 average household rating/share versus last year’s 8.1/17 for the comparable single header coverage in Week 10 in the metered markets. The day’s games were Pittsburgh-Baltimore, Kansas City-Cleveland, N.Y. Jets-Miami, Houston-Denver, and L.A. Chargers-Seattle…

…Fox and NFL Network earned a combined a 6.8 rating and 11.1 million viewers for the Week 9 Raiders-49ers Thursday Night Football game, down 14% in ratings and 16% in viewership from the sixth TNF simulcast last season (Week 10 Seahawks-Cardinals: 7.9, 13.1M) and down 16% and 17% respectively from the sixth simulcast in 2016 (Week 11 Saints-Panthers: 8.1, 13.3M) (SportsMediaWatch).

SEC Showdown Between Alabama-LSU Leads Week 10, CFB Season
The SEC on CBS’ No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 LSU coverage on Saturday (8:00-11:30 PM, ET) was the highest-rated college football game on any network this season earning an average household metered market rating/share of 6.7/13, up +81% from last year’s LSU-Alabama game (3.7/7) in prime time. The game rating/share peaked at 8.0/15 from (9:00-9:30 PM, ET).

The top five rated markets include:

  • Birmingham- 52.6/70
  • New Orleans- 38.3/56
  • Knoxville- 19.8/31
  • Nashville- 18.9/30
  • Atlanta- 18.7/33

In addition, No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 9 Kentucky (3:30-6:45 PM, ET) earned a rating/share of 2.8/7, up +27% from last year’s South Carolina vs. No. 1 Georgia in the metered markets…

…Thursday’s Temple-UCF college football game drew a 0.8 rating and 1.19 million viewers on ESPN, up 53% in ratings and 57% in viewership from last year (Navy-Temple: 0.51, 758K), but down 15% in the latter from 2016 (Oklahoma-Iowa State: 1.40M) (SMW)…

…According to SMW, the Nebraska-Ohio State matchup finished with a 3.05 rating with 5 million combined viewers on Fox. Also on Fox, the Texas-West Virginia last-second thriller compiled a 2.7 rating with 4.43 million combined viewers.

…Also according to SMW, the Saturday Night Football contest on ABC between Oklahoma and Texas Tech finished with a 1.9 ratings and 3.14 million combined viewers.

Recent Success For SportsCenter
Multiple editions of SportsCenter are continuing to gain viewership momentum.

SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, which airs at midnight ET most weeknights and following ESPN Monday Night Football, has seen a 13% year-over-year increase in viewership for the Monday night editions during the current NFL season. The program also has seen a 10% rise in viewership in ages 18-49 demographic for the post-MNF shows.

The 6 p.m. SportsCenter, with anchors Kevin Negandhi and Sage Steele, saw its eighth consecutive month of year-over-year growth in viewership during October. For the year, the 6 p.m. SportsCenter is up 4% overall.

Young men are tuning in to the 7-8 a.m. weekday edition of SportsCenter:AM. Since returning to ESPN on August 27, the program has propelled ESPN to the highest rating on cable in the timeslot for men in the coveted age group of 18-34. Across all cable and broadcast networks, ESPN ranks third in the demographic during the time period on weekday mornings. The program is anchored by Nicole Briscoe and Randy Scott Monday-Thursday and by Matt Barrie and Elle Duncan on Fridays.

Barrie and Duncan also host SportsCenter:AM on weekends, and the program saw a 10% rise in year-over-year Sunday morning viewership for October.

The expanded 90-minute noon SportsCenter on Mondays leading up to Monday Night Football has been a viewership success since its launch at the start of the NFL season and is up 11% over the same 90-minute timeslot a year ago. Anchors Hannah Storm and Jay Harris lead the program as it reviews the previous day in the NFL and looks ahead to the night’s matchup.


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