The ratings summary is a summary of last week’s rating news and is derived from press releases and industry reports. In this week’s edition, NFL Week 1 numbers arrive, Notre Dame returns to NBC and more.
Week 1 of the NFL
The first game of ESPN’s first NFL week Monday Night Football doubleheader – Pittsburgh Steelers to the New York Giants (7pm ET) – delivered the third-highest cable audience for a sporting event in 2020 and best-in-class since January, averaging 10,760,000 spectators. Compared to last year, the game fell by 21%.
Including all cable shows in 2020 – sports and beyond – Steelers-Giants audiences rank fourth-best overall, following ESPN’s unveiling of the CFP National Championship on January 13 and the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day, plus to the February 4 State of the Union Address (Fox News).
The audience for the Steelers win outstripped ESPN’s audience for 2018 MNF opening double-headed game between the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions (10.4 million spectators), but behind last year’s game, an exciting comeback win for the New Orleans Saints over Houston.
Additional Steelers-Giants Highlights:
- ESPN’s audience peaked at 13,101,000 spectators (21-21: 15)
- Including ESPN’s Deportes, the audience was 10,810,000 fans
- Local Markets: Pittsburgh was the first market, achieving a local rating of 36.1 for both WTAE (25.9) and ESPN (10.2). New York, the No. 3, closed with a rating of 10.5 on WPIX (4.1) and ESPN (6.4)
- Other markets include:
- Philadelphia (11.1)
- Baltimore (10.1)
- Washington, DC and Denver (10.0)
- Norfolk and West Palm Beach (9.9)
- Cleveland and Columbus (9.8)
ESPN’s second game Monday Night FootbalThe doubleheader with the Tennessee Titans at the Denver Broncos (10:15 pm) recorded an audience of 7,697,000 spectators which ranks among the top six most viewed sporting events via cable in 2020. Compared to last year, the game is down 38 %. ESPN broadcast seven sporting events with over seven million viewers in 2020, a feat no other cable network has ever achieved.
The annual MNF doubleheader brought ESPN to “Win the Night”, as the network was the most watched in prime time broadcast and cable among families, viewers and key demos (M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34 , P18 -49, P25-54).
More on Tennessee-Denver:
- By including ESPN Deportes, the number of spectators jumps to 7,730,000 people
- Denver was the No. 1, with a combined local rating of 26.2 between KTVD (14.1) and ESPN (12.1). Nashville was the second-ranked market with a score of 17.7 on WZTV (9.1) and ESPN (8.6).
- Other markers include:
- Seattle-Tacoma (8.5)
- San Diego (8.2)
- Kansas City (7.9)
- San Francisco (7.8)
- Las Vegas (7.2)
- Phoenix (7.1)
- Sacramento and Memphis (6.8) …
… Fox Sports kicked off its 27th season of NFL coverage on Sunday averaging over 25 million per viewers The American game of the week (AGOTW), combining with Fox’s best regional performance of Week 1 in four years to mark the network’s most-watched opening week since 2016.
According to Nielsen Media Research, AGOTW, the # 1 show on TV for 11 consecutive years, marked the most-watched telecast since Super Bowl LIV on Fox in February. The game, which featured Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in Brady’s debut as Buc, attracted an average audience of 25,848,000, up + 7% from last week’s first week performance. year of 24,216,000 spectators.
Fox’s regional games recorded their best performance in the first week since 2016, averaging 13,530,000 spectators, up 6% from last year’s 12,723,000 spectators between the Giants and Cowboys.
As for streaming, week 1 represented the Sunday of the NFL’s most aired regular season ever by Fox – an 84% increase from last year’s opening Sunday with an average minute audience (AMA) of 592,144 in between. regional and national windows. AGOTW attracted an AMA of 647,000 and 3.5 million unique streamers, leading to the most aired NFL regular season window ever. Fox also set a record for its regional windows, with an AMA of 537,000 and 3.8 million unique streamers.
The highlights are below:
- AGOTW attracted an average audience of 25,848,000 million, up + 7% from last year’s first week performance of 24,216,000 spectators
- Most watched TV show of any kind since Super Bowl LIV on Fox
- Fox’s most watched first-week national game since 2016
- Major increases in demographic assessments in 2019 include:
- A18-34 + 8% 6.09 compared to 5.66
- A18-49 + 3% 7.88 compared to 7.62
- A25-54 + 4% 9.41 vs 9.08 rating
Fox regional games
- Average viewers of 13,530,000, up 6% compared to 12,723,000 last year
- Fox’s best week 1 regional performance since 2016 …
… Despite the largest deficit in the fourth quarter (24 points) in an NFL opening game in seven years, the Kansas City Chiefs’ 34-20 win over the Houston Texans in the NFL season opener was on average of a total audience preliminary delivery of 20.3 million viewers across NBC TV, NBC Sports Digital and NFL Digital platforms, making it the most watched sporting event since Super Bowl LIV in February, according to Fast National data released today by Nielsen and the digital data from Adobe Analytics.
NBC television coverage peaked at 22.0 million viewers between 9: 15-21: 30 ET, and surpassed 20 million viewers every quarter-hour from 20:45 ET to 21:45 ET. The broadcast averaged 19.3 million viewers on NBC.
With 20.3 million admissions, the NFL Kickoff Game is only the second show since Super Bowl Sunday to average at least 20 million admissions (Academy Awards, 23.6 million on February 9).
The average audience minute (AMA) for Thursday night live stream via NBC Sports digital platforms, NFL Digital platforms, Chiefs and Texans mobile properties and Verizon Media mobile properties was 970,000 viewers, the highest ever recorded for an NBC NFL game , not including Super Bowls – and up to 55% from last year’s NFL starting game (627,000).
The game (8:28 pm-11:05 pm ET) recorded a familiar national TV rating of 11.2 / 23.
The best markets measured
- Kansas City – 47.8 / 71
- Houston – 20.6 / 39
- Denver – 18.8 / 36
- Austin – 17.2 / 34
- Indianapolis – 16.8 / 32
- Pittsburgh – 16.7 / 28
- Baltimore – 16.1 / 28
- Philadelphia – 15.9 / 27
- Providence – 15.8 / 28
- San Antonio and Milwaukee – 15.6 / 28
Notre Dame on NBC
According to SportsMediaWatch, Saturday’s Duke-Notre Dame college football game averaged 2.4 million and 4.32 million viewers on NBC, the team’s second-most-watched home game since 2006 (vs Penn State: 6, 90 million). Their first home game against Michigan two years ago averaged 7.09 million.
Ratings have increased 140% and views 189% since Notre Dame’s home opener last season against New Mexico (1.0, 1.50 million). The game averages 4.37 million including streaming.
The Notre Dame win brought in the biggest college football audience of the young season, although that comes with the obvious caveat that so far there have been hardly any matches involving prominent teams.
Odds and Ends: Other College Football News, Raptors-Celtics Game 7, League of Legends
In other college football stocks, ABC averaged 2.0 million and 3.46 million for Clemson-Wake Forest in the first season of Saturday Night Football – down 60% in ratings and viewership from an LSU-Texas match. considerably higher profile last year (5.0, 8.65 M). Compared to the same weekend in 2018, ratings were flat and the audience increased 5% from Penn State-Pittsburgh (2.0, 3.29 million).
Clemson’s win had to contend with the aforementioned Rockets-Lakers game, taking a head-to-head victory in ratings (2.0 to 1.9) but running out of spectators. Again, the NBA game easily won in the young adult demos.
ABC also averaged 2.0 and 3.52 million for Georgia Tech-FSU’s abbreviated coverage, down 50% and 46%, respectively, from Texas A & M-Clemson last year (4.0 , 6.48 million). The game was delayed due to inclement weather and moved to ESPN2, averaging 0.6 and 1.21 million for the wrap.
On Fox, Arkansas State’s Kansas State rollover averaged 1.1 million and 1.79 million in the premiere of Big noon Saturday – down 64% in ratings and 62% in views from Army-Michigan in the same weekend last year (3.1, 4.72 million). Ratings and views also fell 39% and 38% respectively from UCLA-Oklahoma in 2018 (1.8, 2.90 million).
In the same noon window on ESPN, the Iowa state of Louisiana roll over averaged 1.0 and 1.68 million, respectively 25% and 31% over last year (Syracuse-Maryland: 0, 8, 1.28 million). It joins Duke-Notre Dame as the only windows of the season to increase from last year.
ESPN2 hit 0.31 and 516,000 for Tulane-South Alabama on Saturday night, down 31% and 32% respectively from Tulane-Auburn in a similar window last year (0.45, 516K). The highest scoreboard in FS1 was Eastern Kentucky-West Virginia with 0.20 (-38%) and 408,000 (-25%).
College Gameday averaged 1.08 million on its debut in the road show season, down 42% from the same weekend last year (1.88 million). This does not include the ESPNU simulcast. (SMW) …
… The Celtics-Raptors NBA playoff second round on Friday, Game 7, averaged 4.69 million viewers on TNT, scoring the largest audience for any cable sports event since April’s NFL Draft. The previous high was 4.65 million for Lakers-Rockets Game 3 on TNT last week.
… Riot Games recorded a 70% increase in views for Sunday’s championship game at the League of Legends European Championship Summer Split playoffs.
G2 Esports’ sweep against Fnatic in the best-of-final reached an average minute audience of 819,400, a 70% jump from the 2019 summer finals.
Riot also said the LEC competition hit a peak concurrent viewership of 952,000, a 16.7% increase from the previous year. (Reuters)