Ratings Roundup: Wimbledon Men’s Championship Down 37% on ESPN; Confed Cup Final Up on Univision, Down on ESPN

Despite Andy Murray’s historic victory on Sunday, ESPN’s audience during its Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship coverage was down 37% from last year’s Championship match. Andy Murray ended Great Britain’s 77-year Wimbledon Championship drought in a straight-sets over No. 1 Novak Djokovic, as ESPN drew a 1.7 Fast National US rating, and averaged 2,456,000 viewers. Although that marks the second largest audience in ESPN tennis history, it was down significantly from last year’s Gentlemen’s Championship, which earned a 2.5 US rating and drew 3,925,000 viewers. The rating for Sunday’s final peaked at a 2.8 for the final 30 minutes of the telecast (12-12:30 p.m. ET).  Last year’s four-set match between Roger Federer and Murray peaked at 4.1 for the half hour starting at 1 p.m.

In addition, Saturday’s telecast of the Ladies’ Championship – No. 15 Marion Bartoli winning her first major title over No. 23 Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 – plus the Gentlemen’s Doubles Championship – American’s Bob and Mike Bryan winning their 15th major and third in a row – drew a 0.9 US rating and 1,302,000 viewers for the five-hour telecast, marking the the fifth best in ESPN tennis history.

ESPN also saw use of its WatchESPN app on smartphones and tablets grow 274 percent throughout the tournament – nearly quadruple – in live minutes viewed.  Additionally, the average number of daily viewers nearly doubled, up 89 percent, while minutes per viewer via the app more than doubled, up 110 percent…

…With the FIFA Confederations Cup in the books, ESPN saw a major drop in ratings and viewership for the Final, while Univision saw a boost. Sunday’s Brazil/Spain Confederations Cup final drew approximately 5.95 million viewers across ESPN and Univision, down 14% from United States/Brazil on the two networks in 2009 (6.9M).

ESPN was responsible for the declines, as the absence of the U.S. resulted in a sharp decline in both ratings and viewership. The network earned a 1.2 U.S. rating and just under 2.0 million viewers for Sunday’s match, down 45% in ratings and 51% in viewership from 2009 (2.2, 3.9M). By contrast, Univision earned 4.0 million viewers for its coverage — up 34% from 2009 (3.0M).

Earlier Sunday, the Uruguay/Italy third-place match drew approximately 2.6 million viewers on ESPN2 and Univision — up 93% from Spain/South Africa in 2009 (1.3M). The ESPN2 telecast drew a 0.6 U.S. rating and 798,000 viewers, up 50% and 25%, respectively, from 2009 (0.4, 639K). Univision’s coverage scored 1.8 million, up 155% from 2009 (707K).

Overall, the 2013 Confed Cup averaged 1.6 million Total Viewers on Univision, up 99% over 2009. Univision Deportes continued to ride the momentum into the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday night, as Canada/Martinique and Mexico/Panama drew an average of 1,228,000 and 3,316,000 viewers, respectively, on Univision…

…ESPN’s coverage of the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27 averaged 2,999,000 viewers (P2+), making it the second most-watched Draft ever on ESPN. Viewership was up from 2,959,000 for last year’s telecast. The NBA Draft delivered a 2.4 coverage rating, which is up 9% from a 2.2 in 2012 and is tied for the second highest-rated Draft ever on ESPN. The only NBA Draft telecast on ESPN with slightly more viewers was 2011 with 3,202,000…

…NBC Sports Group’s cable properties had a big second quarter, as both NBC Sports Network and Golf Channel registered record ratings.

Buoyed by more live programming hours in the second quarter than ever, NBC Sports Network averaged 633,000 primetime viewers – marking the most-watched quarter in primetime (8-11 p.m.) in the network’s history and a 17% increase vs. last year.  NBC Sports Network’s average Q2 primetime viewership increased by 94,000 viewers over 2012, resulting in the largest year-over-year increase among all sports cable networks in the quarter. In addition, NBC Sports Network posted its most-watched non-Olympic quarter in total day (6 a.m. – 6 a.m.) with an average of 153,000 viewers. Year to date, NBC Sports Network viewership is up 13% in primetime and up 14% in total day compared to the first half of 2012.

Meanwhile, Golf Channel posted its most-watched second quarter in network history, reaching nearly 29 million unique viewers. For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 124,000 average viewers per minute were tuned into Golf Channel in second quarter 2013, representing an 8% year-over-year increase compared to second quarter 2012, 39% vs. second quarter 2011 and 44% vs. second quarter 2010. The big second quarter comes on the heels of Golf Channel’s most-watched year ever in 2012 and most-watched quarter ever in Q1 of 2013…

…Regional MLB action featuring Yankees/Orioles earned a 2.2 final rating and a season-high 3.5 million viewers on FOX June 29, up 29% in ratings and 33% in viewership from coverage featuring Mets/Dodgers last year (1.7, 2.7M), and up 57% and 64%, respectively, from coverage featuring Mets/Rangers in 2011 (1.4, 2.2M). In addition to the season-high in viewership, the 2.2 rating matched a season-high.

The Yankees/Orioles series also boosted ESPN, which saw its June 30 Yankees/Orioles “Sunday Night Baseball” game earn just under 2.1 million viewers, the network’s largest Sunday night audience since Red Sox/Yankees on June 2…

…TNT’s coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona on July 6 earned 3.5 household rating, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. This is 6% over last year’s 3.3 U.S. HH rating with an estimated 5.7 million total viewers (up 4%). That marks the highest-rated and most-viewed NASCAR race on TNT since 2010. Viewership for this year’s Coke Zero 400 peaked during the final 15 minutes of the race with 7.3 million total viewers and a 4.5 rating.

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