Ratings Roundup: Arsenal-Liverpool Is Most-Streamed Premier League Match in U.S. History, ESPN Studio Shows Hit Record Highs in January

Ratings Roundup is a rundown of recent rating news and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, NHL All-Star Game draws close to 1.4 million viewers this year; ESPN Digital hits all time highs across the board and more.

NHL All-Star Game Draws Over 1 Million Viewers

The NHL All-Star Game drew just under 1.4 million viewers on ABC on Saturday afternoon from Toronto, down 7% from last year (around 1.5 million). But the 3×3 competition was up from 1.15 million 2022, when the All-Star Game from Las Vegas went up against Winter Olympic action. CLICK HERE for more on viewership for Friday’s NHL All-Star Skills Challenge and All Star Weekend ratings in Canada. 

Viewership for ESPN’s NBA Countdown, NBA Today Shows Up in January 2024

Viewership for both of ESPN’s NBA studio shows was up in January 2024, according to Nielsen. NBA Countdown averaged 1,039,000 viewers on ESPN and ABC, up 42 percent from January 2023. Viewership among women was up 85 percent, while Hispanic audiences increased by 51 percent, according to Nielsen. ABC aired five additional NBA Countdown shows in January of 2024.

In addition, NBA Today, ESPN’s weekday NBA studio show, averaged 344,000 viewers in January, up three percent from January 2023. Viewership amongst women was up three percent, while the Hispanic audience increased by nine percent.

Malika Andrews hosts both NBA Countdown and NBA Today. Both shows are also available on the ESPN App.

NBA Today airs Monday through Friday on ESPN from 3-4 p.m. ET. NBA Countdown precedes NBA games on ESPN (Wednesdays and Fridays) and on ABC (Saturdays and Sundays).

 Local Telecasts of NHL Games This Season Up 3% From Last Year

Ratings for local/regional NHL telecasts in the U.S. this season are up about 3% from the same point in 2022-23 despite the impact of continued cord-cutting on regional sports network distribution,  according to a Sports Business Journal. The cumulative comparison includes only linear TV viewership data (not streaming) from 21 of the league’s 25 American teams (excluding the Golden Knights, Hurricanes, Predators and Coyotes) through a total of 911 regular-season telecasts.

ESPN Digital 2023: Best Year Ever

Recently released Comscore data shows ESPN Digital had its best year ever in 2023 with an all-time mark of 111.4 million average monthly unique visitors, up 3% over ESPN’s record-setting 2022 and reaching nearly half of all users in the U.S. sports category.

  • The ESPN App also had its best year ever with 28 million average monthly unique users, up 10% over the previous year.
  • ESPN Social led the sports category with 8.6 billion engagements, up 11% YoY.
  • ESPN YouTube had its best year ever with 25 billion views, up 18% YoY.
  • Beyond the sports category, ESPN in 2023 became the No. 1 most-followed overall brand on TikTok with 44 million followers.

Arsenal-Liverpool on Peacock is Most-Streamed Premier League Match in U.S. History

NBC Sports’ presentation of Arsenal v. Liverpool on Sunday, February 4 – exclusively on Peacock – is the most-streamed Premier League match in United States history, with an Average Minute Audience (AMA) of 1.15 million viewers across English and Spanish-language presentations.
With Sunday’s record-setting viewership, two of the three most-streamed Premier League matches in U.S. history have come on the heels of Peacock’s milestone exclusive AFC Wild Card game, which was the most-streamed event ever in the U.S. averaging approximately 23 million viewers. The Manchester United v. Tottenham matchup on Jan. 14, 2024, delivered an AMA of 882,000 total viewers, ranking third all-time behind Chelsea-Liverpool on Peacock on August 13, 2023.
This weekend’s Premier League coverage across NBC Sports is headlined by USMNT star Gio Reyna and Nottingham Forest hosting Newcastle this Sat., Feb. 10, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock, and Universo, and Manchester United visiting fourth-place Aston Villa on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET on USA Network and Telemundo.

Record-Setting Month Continues for ESPN’s Studio Shows in January

ESPN’s 8 a.m.-2 p.m. ET studio lineup, featuring Get Up (8-10 a.m.), First Take (10 a.m.-12 p.m.) and The Pat McAfee Show (noon-2 p.m. on ESPN and noon-3ish p.m. on ESPN on YouTube), continues to see increased viewership and set records. In January, all three shows marked their most-watched month ever. This follows each show’s best episode on record from earlier this month on Jan. 15.

Get Up continues its momentum from late 2023 into 2024 with January 2024 being the show’s most-viewed month ever. The morning show hosted by Michael Greenberg – which airs weekdays from 8-10 a.m. ET on ESPN – had 500,000 viewers per show on average throughout the month, topping its previous high of 467,000 viewers per show in Nov. 2023. The show saw a 12% increase year-over-year.

Get Up now has earned its top-performing three months in as many months with December 2023 being the third most-viewed month ever with 449,000 viewers per show.

Get Up Three-month Span:

  • Jan. 2024: 500,000 viewers per show
  • Nov. 2023: 467,000 viewers per show
  • Dec. 2023: 449,000 viewers per show

On Monday, Jan. 15, Get Up had its most-viewed show ever with 979,000 viewers.

Get Up’s successes also carry over to social and YouTube:

  • Get Up on Social: Across all ESPN social accounts, Get Up’s engagements in January were up 525% vs. 2023.
  • Get Up on YouTube: Views of January Get Up YouTube content was up 79.4 %percent year-over-year.

First Take, ESPN’s signature morning debate show with featured commentator and executive producer Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim, continues its record-setting run. January marked the show’s most-watched month ever, averaging 680,000 viewers, up a significant 21% from Jan. 2023 and 11% from its previous record (Nov. 2023). This also adds to First Take’s year-over-year viewership streak, now at 18 months of consecutive growth.

This impressive record follows First Take’s best episode on Jan. 15 and its most-watched year in the show’s history in 2023. The last three months of Nov.-Jan. are First Take’s second, third and most-watched months on record, respectively.

First Take’s success continues across platforms as well:

  • First Take on Social: Across all ESPN social accounts, First Take’s engagements in January were up 378% vs. 2023.
  • First Take on YouTube: Views of First Take content on YouTube were up 13% year-over-year.

The Pat McAfee Show rounds out the historic month across ESPN’s pillar programs scoring its most-watched month ever. Since its start on ESPN platforms last September, the show has seen a steady viewership increase each month and started off the new year with record highs including the two most-watched episodes to date (Jan. 15 and Jan. 16).

The program airs weekdays from noon-2 p.m. on ESPN, drawing an average of 390,000 live viewers, and noon-3ish p.m. as a live simulcast on YouTube, which increases the average daily viewership to 506,000 per show in the month of January – a 28% year-over-year increase compared to the same time slot.

The Pat McAfee Show January Social Highlights:

  • 115 million views on TikTok, a 7.5% increase from December
  • 50 million views on YouTube (live and VOD)
  • Averaged 80 minutes watched per episode on YouTube during the live simulcast show window

All viewing options reached 10.4 million daily views for the month totaling a staggering 313 million total views across all platforms, outpacing the show’s previous high in December by a 5% increase.

In addition to McAfee himself, The Pat McAfee Show features co-host A.J. Hawk, Connor Campbell, Ty Schmit, Tone Digs, Darius Butler, A.Q. Shipley, Coach Chuck Pagano, Evan Fox, Zito Perez, Nick Maraldo, Phil Mains, Casey “Tok” Hamel, Matt “Bruce” Brown, Michael Girdy, Bailey McComas and Mitt McMahon, among others.

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