Ratings Roundup: Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final Hits 3.33 Million Viewers; 2019 MLB All-Star Game Numbers Drop
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, Wimbledon ratings soar after tournament finals, MLB All-Star game ratings take a dip, the Atlanta Braves on Fox Sports South and Southeast as well as the Chicago White Sox on NBC Sports Chicago deliver consistent ratings growth, Telemundo Deportes’ Summer of Soccer sets multiplatform records, and the Tour De France delivers for NBC Sports Network.
Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship Hits Best Mark in Seven Years
The 2019 Wimbledon Championships on ESPN averaged 877,000 viewers (P2+), an increase of 30% over last year (675,000), according to Nielsen. The two weeks of coverage included nearly 150 hours from London. Eleven of the 13 days experienced an increase in viewership.
The most-viewed two days came on Championship Weekend – 3,329,000 for the Gentlemen’s Championship and Ladies’ Doubles Championship on Sunday – ESPN’s second-most viewed tennis telecast in history, and an average of 1,197,000 for Saturday’s Ladies’ Championship and the Men’s Doubles Championship. Sunday’s Men’s Final telecast was the most-viewed since the Federer vs. Murray final in 2012 with 3,300,000 viewers, an increase of 211% from last year’s Men’s final telecast.
In the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s semifinals, the 40th meeting between tennis immortals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal averaged a 1.6. The telecast’s rating peaked at a 1.9 near the conclusion of the match.
As sports fans followed the exploits of 15-year-old phenom Coco Gauff – as well as the continued brilliance of Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic – ESPN benefitted with a sharp rise in Wimbledon viewership compared to 2018. Through the first seven days (Monday, July 8) of coverage, ESPN’s viewership is up 29% to an average of 799,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen. Last year at this point, ESPN was averaging 620,000 viewers.
In addition, ESPN2’s first day of coverage on Monday, July 8 – on the air alongside ESPN in “CrossCourt Coverage” – averaged 275,000 viewers, up 51% from last year (182,000 viewers).
Each of the four days Gauff played (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Monday the 8th), her match was the most-watched match of the day, topped by Monday the 8th. That match averaged 1,123,000 people, peaking at 1,225,000.
2019 MLB All-Star Game Finishes at A Low Point
According to TV NewsCheck, the American League’s 4-3 victory over the National League last Tuesday night in Cleveland had a 5.0 rating and 11 share on Fox, according to Nielsen Media Research. The game was seen by an average of 5.93 million households and 8.14 million viewers.
The mark is down from the previous record low rating of 5.2 and 8.69 million viewers for the AL’s 8-6, 10-inning victory last year. The game averaged 8,302,000 viewers on Fox, Fox Deportes, and Fox streaming services, peaking at 8,592,000 viewers from 9:15-9:30 p.m. EDT. It was the most-watched Fox prime-time telecast since February and the network’s most-watched Tuesday night since the World Series opener between Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers last October.
The Home Run Derby drew a combined 6.2 million viewers and a 4.54 rating in metered markets on ESPN and ESPN2 on Monday night, up from 5.97 million viewers and a 4.39 rating last year.
The Atlanta Braves Carry Ratings for Fox Sport South and Southeast
So far this season, Atlanta Braves telecasts on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast delivered a 3.21 average household rating in the Atlanta DMA, up 6% compared to the same timeframe during the 2018 season. This year-over-year (YoY) gain is incremental to the significant rise the networks realized at this point last season, when they saw a 51% HH rating increase in 2018 versus the 2017 midpoint. That 2017 to 2018 mid-season YoY HH ratings increase ranked second in all of Major League Baseball.
Braves telecasts on the networks in the Atlanta DMA delivered a 3.45 primetime HH rating average during the regular season to date, ranking #1 in prime among all cable networks. Among all television in the Atlanta DMA, Braves games on the networks rank #2. Additionally, during the first half of the season, the networks’ HH ratings ranked #1 for 12 nights in primetime for all of television in the Atlanta DMA.
June was a particularly strong month for Braves telecasts on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast, delivering a 3.61 HH rating, up 11% versus June 2018.
The networks’ Braves LIVE postgame shows have also benefited from the ratings growth, delivering a 1.41 HH rating, up 10% versus the first half the 2018 season.
In addition to ratings success on television, Braves games streamed on Fox Sports GO have also delivered significant gains: average streams per game are up 97%, total average minutes streamed per game are up 60%, and unique streams per game are up 40% versus the 2018 season.
Braves content on the networks’ social media platforms has delivered triple-digit increases across key performance indicators on Fox Sports South’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, engagement is up 159%, video views are up 144%, and impressions are up 115% versus the first half of the 2018 season.
Additional ratings highlights for the first half of the 2019 season (Atlanta DMA):
FSSE @ Chicago Cubs 8:00 PM (4.93)
FSSE vs New York Mets 7:15 PM (4.70)
FSSO vs Miami Marlins 1:15 PM 4.69
FSSE vs Pittsburgh Pirates 7:15 PM 4.62
FSSE vs Philadelphia Phillies 7:15 PM 4.59
FSSO vs Philadelphia Phillies 7:15 PM 4.53
FSSE vs Philadelphia Phillies 7:15 PM 4.41
FSSO vs Philadelphia Phillies 7:15 PM 4.36
FSSE vs Philadelphia Phillies 7:15 PM 4.35
FSSO vs Philadelphia Phillies 7:15 PM 4.33
Chicago White Sox on NBC Sports Chicago Brings Highest Average Ratings in Five Years
NBC Sports Chicago has posted across-the-board increases compared to 2018 on TV and digital for its Chicago White Sox game telecasts and surrounding multi-platform game coverage at the All-Star break. NBC Sports Chicago’s White Sox television ratings averaged a 1.18 Chicago market Household rating (HH) — the highest White Sox average at the All-Star break in five years (1.38 in 2014) and up 36% compared to last season at the break. In addition, game telecasts delivered year-over-year growth in all key demographics, including Adults 18-34 (up 91%) and Adults 25-54 (up 34%), according to data provided by Nielsen.
The White Sox on NBC Sports Chicago averaged a 1.57 HH rating in June, which was the network’s highest-rated June in seven years (2.26 avg. in June 2012), and its highest-rated single month in five years (April 2014 – 1.68 HH).\
Additional highlights include:
- On June 19, NBC Sports Chicago delivered its highest-rated White Sox game telecast in seven years, a 3.67 Chicago market HH rating at Cubs (3.78 HH rating posted on June 18, 2012).
- NBC Sports Chicago’s White Sox Pregame Live presented by Aurelio’s Pizza is up 50% compared to last season’s final average, while Subaru White Sox Postgame Live has registered a 30% ratings increase.
- On digital, NBCSportsChicago.com and the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app have driven significant live streaming audience growth compared to last season, with 3.1K uniques per game, up 93% vs. 2018 and 154K average minutes consumed per game, up 75% vs. 2018.
- White Sox-specific content delivered 504K unique visitors, up 146%; 2.0M page views, up 211%; and 1.7M VOD starts, up 1,792%.
- The “White Sox Talk” podcast set a new monthly download record in June (89,000), breaking the previous monthly record of 77,000 set in March.
- The podcast also hit a significant milestone in June, hitting one million total downloads since its inception in October 2016.
Telemundo Deportes Scores About 19 Million Viewers for “Summer of Soccer”
Telemundo Deportes’ “Summer of Soccer” coverage of 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France and 2019 Copa America Brazil (June 7- June 14) reached 18.8 million viewers – outperforming Copa de Oro on Univision networks (based on the industry standard of a 6-minute qualifier). In addition, Telemundo’s Summer of Soccer generated more than 490 million total engagements across all platforms including television, digital, video on demand and social media, according to official national data provided by Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics, clearly establishing Telemundo Deportes as the home of the Biggest, Best, Global Sports in Spanish-language.
Telemundo Deportes’ exclusive Spanish-language of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Copa America was the most robust presentation of the tournaments in Spanish-language media history delivering over 750 hours of live sports programming across platforms that included 78 matches in 31 days and from two different continents.
Viewership highlights include:
- Telemundo Deportes set the Spanish-language record for the most-watched FIFA Women’s World Cup ever, with a Total Audience Delivery average of 301,000 viewers – posting a 27% increase over the full 2015 tournament (237,000 viewers).
- Telemundo Deportes’ coverage of the 2019 Copa Americayielded a Total Audience Delivery average of 1.2 million viewers- doubling the 2015 tournament.
- On digital, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France set record as the most live stream Women’s World Cup in Spanish-language history. Together with Copa America, the tournaments generated 7+ million streams.
- On social media platforms, Telemundo Deportes delivered 2.6 million social actions across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, outperforming its English-language competitors by 18%.
- Telemundo Deportes’ coverage delivered four of the five most-watched FIFA Women’s World Cup matches in Spanish-language history – led by the US-Netherlands final that registered a Total Audience Delivery of 1.6 million viewers ranking as the most-watched FIFA Women’s World Cup match in Spanish-language history, surpassing by 22% the 2015 USA vs. Japan final (1.27 million).
- 16 of the 26 Copa America matches averaged 1 million viewers or more across all platforms – four times more than 2015.
- Copa America’s Brazil vs. Peru final averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 3.1 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched Copa America final since 2007 – tripling the 2015 final (Chile vs. Argentina, 1 million total viewers).
Throughout its Summer of Soccer, Telemundo Deportes rolled out a wide range of innovations, allowing viewers to enjoy and experience the game like never before. Among the highlights:
- Biggest, Best of soccer from morning until night: An unparalleled production that included 750+ hours of combined LIVE sports programming across all platforms, including 78 matches in 31 days on two Continents.
- First Telemundo Deportes’ Show to stream LIVE on Twitter: Fútbol After Dark was produced by the NBCUniversal Digital Lab and Telemundo Deportes airing twice a week during the tournaments, becoming the first Telemundo sports show to stream on Twitter, and reaching more than one million viewers. The late-night Live Twitter show highlighted and celebrated the key moments, stories, and conversations behind the tournaments.
- 800+ digital videos produced: more than 800 short-form pieces of content that included original series, highlights and recaps featured across TelemundoDeportes.com, Telemundo Deportes app, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. In addition to the network’s first live sports show to air on Twitter, content included the first Spanish-language animated scripted series dedicated to soccer titled Brazil 19 Shopping Mall, and an extensive list of short form video series.
- Record coverage for a Women’s World Cup in Spanish: More Women’s World Cup matches than ever before on Spanish-language television (21 matches on Telemundo, 24 on Universo and 7 exclusively on digital) – doubling the 2015 coverage. Coverage also included the most extensive news and information content with crews following the USWNT and other news-making teams and compiling more than 50 interviews that highlighted the compelling stories behind the soccer stars of the tournament.
- A Marketing Campaign that Captured the Real Stories of Female Player: Under the tagline “If they fought to play it, watch what they are going to do to win it,” Telemundo Deportes’ Women’s World Cup marketing campaign focused on exposing the obstacles women overcome to not only play soccer, but compete as the highest level, both in the U.S. and around the world. Aiming to create a movement and inspire fans to watch the tournament, the campaign captured this reality through the lens of four World Cup players and by showcasing research and statistics.
- Most robust lineup of experts: Telemundo Deportes’ award-winning team took on the unique role of covering the two tournaments simultaneously alongside an unmatched lineup of soccer stars serving as analysts that included four female soccer players, providing an authentic representation of those on the field during the coverage.
- Ambitious production from three countries: Telemundo Deportes’ state-of-the art Miami studios at Telemundo Center served as the main hub for both tournaments complemented by daily pre- and post-match coverage from onsite host positions in Paris and Rio de Janeiro featuring sets with iconic, panoramic views of both cities. Production also featured original music by Emmy Award winning composer and producer Yoav Goren, including an adaption of the FIFA World Cup “Sueño de Campeones” theme exclusively produced for the Women’s World Cup, and a brand-new song for Copa America.
Tour De France on NBC Sports Network the most viewed since 2016
NBC Sports’ coverage of the 106th Tour de France on NBCSN has delivered the most-watched start to the event since 2016, averaging 290,000 viewers – up 23% from last year (235,000) through Stage 4.
Viewership for each stage has increased over last year – marking the first time since 2010 that each of the first four stages of the Tour de France has shown an increase over the prior year.
In addition, Tour de France video views to NBC Sports’ YouTube channel — which provides extended highlights and additional shoulder programming – are up 55% from last year through Stage 4.