Ratings Roundup: YES Scores Best Nets Audience Ever; NHL’s Return Riding High on NBC Sports Network

The YES Network’s Lakers-Nets telecast last Tuesday night was the most-viewed and highest-rated regular season Nets telecast ever on the YES Network, as it averaged 299,000 Total Viewers and a 3.08 TV Household rating in the New York DMA.   The telecast peaked during the 9:45-10:00 pm ET quarter-hour, when 451,000 Total Viewers tuned in (a 4.47 average TV Household rating). The previous most-viewed and highest-rated regular season Nets game on YES was the December 1, 2012 Nets-Heat telecast (242,000 average Total Viewers, 2.15 average TV Household rating in the New York DMA).

Through its first 43 Nielsen-rated games this season, YES is averaging a 1.10 TV Household rating for its Nets game telecasts, up 150% from the 0.44 rating it registered through its first 43 game telecasts last season (lockout-shortened)…

…Now that the NHL is finally back, NBC Sports Network is riding a ratings hot streak on the ice, as last Wednesday’s Boston/Montreal matchup was the most-watched NHL regular-season game involving a Canadian team on cable in nearly 13 years (previous record set with 1.046 million viewers during Toronto/Pittsburgh game on 12/27/00 on ESPN2 when Mario Lemieux returned from retirement ). With 771,000 viewers and a 0.43 HH rating, Boston/Montreal was the fourth-most watched regular-season game in NBC Sports Network history.

Through 10 games, the NHL on NBCSN has drawn 478,000 average viewers, +44% above last year’s full regular-season average (332,000).  This is the best start ever for the NHL on NBCSN after 10 games…

…Phil Mickelson’s victory drove final round coverage of the PGA Tour Phoenix Open to a 3.3 overnight rating on NBC on Feb. 3 — up 65% from both last year and 2011 (2.0 both years). The 3.3 is the highest for the final round of the tournament since coverage on ABC in 2004 (3.5). Third round action on Saturday drew a 2.1 overnight, up 31% from last year (1.6), and up a tick from 2011 (2.0).

Univision Deportes’ live coverage of the World Cup qualifier pitting the Mexican National Team against Jamaica ranked as the second highest-rated telecast ever on UniMas among total viewers 2+. In addition, the contest became the second highest-rated sports event across all Spanish-language television in the current 2012/2013 season thus far among total viewers 2+ as well as adults 18-49. The qualifier averaged 3.3 million viewers with 1.9 million adults 18-49 and 1 million adults 18-34

…ESPN put up two big time audiences for college basketball last week thanks to a pair of marquee Big 10 matchups.

On Feb. 2, ESPN hit a season-high for college basketball action, as its Michigan/Indiana coverage drew a 2.5 U.S. rating and 4.0 million viewers on ESPN, up 67% in ratings and 66% in viewership from Kansas/Missouri last year (1.5, 2.4M), and up 79% and 92%, respectively, from Kentucky/Florida in 2011 (1.4, 2.1M). Michigan/Indiana ranks as the highest rated college basketball game of the season on any network. The previous high was a 2.0 for the November 13 Duke/Kentucky game on ESPN and the January 6 Temple/Kansas matchup on CBS. In addition, the game earned the largest audience for any basketball telecast on ESPN or ESPN2 — pro or college — since Game 7 of the Celtics/Heat NBA Eastern Conference Finals last June (13.3M), and the largest regular season audience since North Carolina/Duke last March (4.2M).

Then on Wednesday night, ESPN earned 2.4 million viewers for the Ohio State/Michigan men’s college basketball game, up 37% from Purdue/Ohio State last year (1.8M), and up 24% from Tennessee/Kentucky in 2011 (2.0M).

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