Ratings Roundup: Fox Scores with Inaugural Pac-12, Big Ten Championships

The first-ever Pac-12 and Big Ten Championship games delivered solid debut ratings on FOX Sports last weekend. The Pac-12 matchup on Friday night notched a 3.2 overnight rating despite a lopsided Oregon-UCLA matchup. That is FOX’s second-highest Friday night rating of the fall TV season, behind only Game 7 of the World Series. Meanwhile, the inaugural Big Ten Championship game posted a 4.3 overnight rating on Saturday night…

…FOX was also best in show on NFL Sunday, drawing an impressive 18.5 overnight rating for its afternoon coverage, with the marquee Packers-Giants matchup in 77% of markets. That is the third-highest NFL overnight this season (behind only an 18.6 for Giants-Patriots in week 9 and a 19.1 for Cowboys-Patriots in Week 6), and up 3% over the same week in 2010.

Overall, NFL games averaged 10.8% of U.S. households, even with last year’s historic ratings when the league had its most-viewed regular season since 1989 and its highest-rated since 1996. CBS’s early window of regional coverage on Sunday drew a 9.7 in the overnights, up 27% from last year.

On Sunday night, NBC’s Detroit-New Orleans game put up a 11.9/18 overnight rating/share, down 18% from last year’s game ((Ravens-Steelers: 14.6). Although the telecast was No. in primetime, it marked the third-lowest of the season for the NFL on NBC (10.9 for Vikings-Bears in Week 6 and a 8.2 for Colts-Saints in Week 7). The game was the Lions’ first on NBC Sunday Night Football and the Detroit market delivered a 26.5 rating/37 share. New Orleans led all markets with a 56.3 rating/69 share…

…With NBA absent from local programming slates, many RSNs have seen big ratings for NHL telecasts thus far.

MSG Network’s New York Rangers games are up 7% in household rating (0.80 HH vs. 0.75 HH) and 19% the Mal 25-54 demo (0.83 M25-54 vs. 0.70 M25-54) through the first 20 games on the network compared to 2010-11. Monday’s game versus the Penguins scored season high ratings of 1.60 in the household and 1.89 in the M25-54 demo. Both ratings marks were the highest single regular season game ratings for the Rangers on MSG Network since April 11, 2010 when the Rangers faced the Flyers in the final game of the regular season (2.72 HH, 2.29 M25-54).

Meanwhile, the red-hot Boston Bruins averaged a 5.3 HH rating on NESN in November, the highest average monthly Bruins rating in network history. The 5.3 rating is 33% better than the previous best monthly average of 4.0 recorded in March 2011. The Bruins ended November with a 12-0-1 record and posted five of the top seven rated regular season Bruins games in NESN history. On Nov. 23, NESN garnered an 8.4 HH rating for the Bruins 3-2 shootout win at Buffalo, the best regular season game rating in the network’s 28 year history. The game peaked at a 12.2 HH rating during the shootout.

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