Ratings Roundup: TBS’s ALCS Coverage Up Through Three Games; NLCS on Fox a Mixed Bag

Compiled by Jason Dachman, Managing Editor, SVG

TBS’s telecast of Game 3 of the ALCS (Tigers-Yankees) on Tuesday drew a 4.0 household rating from Nielsen with 6,180,000 total viewers, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. Those numbers are up 44% among total viewers and 43% in U.S. household rating compared with the network’s coverage last year of Game 3 of NLCS between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. The numbers were up despite going head-to-head with the second U.S. Presidential Debate.

The strong Game 3 numbers come on the heels of a strong start for the ALCS, as the first two games on TBS averaged a 3.8 household Nielsen rating, and 6,110,000 total viewers, up 92% among viewers and 90% in average rating versus last year’s NLCS on TBS. Sunday’s Yankees/Tigers telecast averaged a 3.1 U.S. household rating and 5,040,000 total viewers, up 67% in viewers and 63% in rating over last year’s NLCS Game 2 between the Cardinals/Brewers…

…Meanwhile, overnights for games and 2 and 3 of the Giants/Cardinals NLCS were both down on Fox. The rain-plagued Game 3 drew a 3.1 overnight rating on FOX Wednesday, down 48% from Rangers/Tigers Game 3 last year (5.9), which aired in primetime. Monday’s Game 2 of the Cardinals/Giants series drew a 4.3 overnight rating on FOX, down 7% from Tigers/Rangers Game 2 on a Monday afternoon last year (4.6).

Game 1, however, was up 17% in ratings and 18% in viewership from last year, drawing a 4.1 rating and 6.8 million viewers Sunday night, according to Nielsen fast-nationals. Tha is up from Tigers/Rangers Game 1 last year (3.5, 5.770M), which aired on a Saturday night…

…NBC’s Sunday Night Football continued to thrive this week, as the Packers whipping of the Texans posted 19.9 million viewers and a 11.8/18 rating/share, up 13% in viewership and 17% in rating over last year’s Week 6 SNF game (16.6 million for Vikings-Bears). It is the most watched Week 6 game in SNF history and most-watched and highest rated Week 6 primetime game in 12 years (22.0 million for Bucs-Vikings, 10/9/00 on ABC).

NBC’s seven-game household rating of 13.4/21 is the best start in the seven-year history of Sunday Night Football, and the highest-rated start to a season for an NFL primetime package in 13 years (13.5/21 household rating for ABC in 1996). The six-week viewership for seven games (22.1 million) is slightly below from 2011 (22.2 million) and is the second most-watched start to a season for a primetime package in 16 years (24.5 million in 1996 on ABC)…

Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ breathtaking comeback over interception-prone Philip Rivers and the Chargers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football this week won the night among all programs – broadcast or cable – delivering a 9.6 household coverage rating (8.2 US) 12,841,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. That is up 5% in ratings and 6% in viewership from a Jets-Dolphins matchup last year (7.8, 12.062M).

Through the first six weeks of the NFL season (seven games), ESPN’s MNF is averaging a 10.3 household coverage rating (8.9 US) and 13,819,000 viewers, up4% and 3%, respectively, from the same point last season…

…ESPN’s Saturday night college football matchup (a 23-21 LSU victory over South Carolina) was the week’s most-viewed college football game across any network, averaging a 3.7 US rating (4.3 coverage rating) and 5,978,000 viewers. It is also ESPN’s most-viewed and highest-rated regular-season college football game since September 15, 2011 (a 19-6 LSU win over Mississippi State averaged 6,250,000 viewers and a 4.0 US rating).

ABC’s Saturday afternoon regional broadcast window averaged 4,551,000 viewers and a 3.1 rating, while ESPNU averaged 1,120,000 viewers for its telecast of Florida beating Vanderbilt 31-17, making it the network’s fourth most-viewed regular-season college football game ever. ESPNU also posted its most-viewed college football game this season, averaging 1,491,000 viewers for the season opening matchup, a 35-21 Tennessee win over NC State…

…Game 2 of the Fever/Lynx WNBA Finals drew 778,000 viewers on ESPN Wednesday night, up 74% from Dream/Lynx Game 2 on ESPN2 last year (447K). Wednesday’s game earned the largest audience for any WNBA Finals game since Game 3 of the 2005 Sun/Monarchs series on broadcast network ABC (895K). In addition, Game 2 attracted the largest audience for any WNBA playoff game on ESPN — which televises far fewer games than ESPN2 — since Game 3 of the Comets/Sparks Western Conference Finals in 1999 (1.052M). On Sunday night, Fever/Lynx Game 1 drew a much less impressive 343,000 viewers on ESPN2 — down 30% from last year’s Game 1 on ESPN (491K), and down 24% from Game 1 of the 2010 series on ABC (450K).

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