Ratings Roundup: MLB Postseason on TBS Up Slightly; FS1 Earns Largest Audience Ever for NLCS Game 4

TBS’ exclusive coverage of the American League throughout the 2014 MLB Postseason averaged 4,294,000 total viewers for 11 telecasts, Turner Sports’ most-viewed postseason coverage since 2010 and a 3% increase when compared with an average of 4,160,000 total viewers for 24 games in 2013. TBS also won the night across cable television six times during the 2014 MLB Postseason and delivered growth across all key demos.

TBS’ exclusive coverage of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) between the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles – the two smallest combined market sizes in ALCS history – averaged 5,071,000 total viewers for four game telecasts, up 2% over the network’s six-game NLCS series in 2013 (Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals – 4,961,000 total viewers). TBS also garnered growth across all key demos during this year’s ALCS.

The network’s ALCS coverage airing in primetime this year averaged 5,960,000 total viewers and a 3.7 U.S. HH rating, up 8% and 6% respectively over TBS’ primetime telecasts in 2013. TBS’ afternoon telecasts during the ALCS averaged 4,141,000 total viewers and a 2.6 U.S. HH rating, up 15% and 8% over the network’s afternoon windows in 2013.  This year’s ALCS featured two games airing in primetime and two afternoon telecast windows.  In 2013, the network’s LCS coverage featured four primetime telecasts and two games airing during the afternoon.

Locally, the ALCS averaged a 30.5 HH rating in Kansas City – with seven of the eight MLB Postseason games exceeding a 30.0 HH rating, all of them ranking as the highest on record for an MLB game in the market – and a 15.1 in Baltimore.  Kansas City ranks 31st among the 56 metered markets and last among all A.L. teams with 923,000 households. Baltimore ranks 26th among the metered markets and 14th in the America League, only slightly ahead of the Royals.

TBS’s ALCS coverage averaged a 3.2 U.S. HH rating and the network’s overall 2014 MLB Postseason telecasts averaged a 2.7 U.S. HH rating, both even with last year…

…Last night, FOX Sports 1’s coverage of the Cardinals series-clinching victory over the Giants in NLCS Game 5 delivered a 3.1 household rating, tying it with NLCS Game 4 as the highest-rated program ever on FOX Sports 1, while drawing 4.891 million viewers making it the second most-watched program ever on FOX Sports 1.  First is NLCS Game 4 with 5.092 million. St. Louis led all markets posting a 25.2, with San Francisco next (18.8), both FOX Sports 1 records in those markets.  Sacramento came in third (13.7), followed by Kansas City, home of the American League Champion Kansas City Royals (9.4). Viewership built every half hour and peaked with 6.519 million viewers from 11:00-11:14 PM ET as Ishikawa’s homer sent the Cardinals home and delivered the Giants their 20th trip to the World Series.  The peak audience for Game 5 is a new 2014 postseason high, breaking the record set in Game 4 (6.077 million from 10:30-11:00 PM ET).

Fox Sports Deportes hit a home run with Game 5, reaching the highest audience delivery for a Game 5 in Spanish-language television history with 199,000 total viewers and 108,000 P18-49. Viewership peaked from 10:00-10:30 PM ET with 265,000 total viewers. Driven by NLCS Game 5, yesterday was FOX Sports GO’s fourth best day ever for authenticated streaming.  The top market for digital viewership of NLCS Game 5 was San Francisco, followed by San Jose, Los Angeles and St. Louis.

Earlier this week it was announced that FOX Sports 1, powered this month by record-breaking audiences generated by MLB postseason coverage, is the fastest-growing network in television since the 2014-‘15 television season began…

…On Sunday (10/12), AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK on FOX, led by the Dallas Cowboys’ 30-23 victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, posted a season-high 17.4/32 household rating/share with 30.0 million viewers, according to Nielsen, and is the highest-rated and most-watched program on all broadcast and cable television since the Academy Awards in March.   More significantly, it’s the NFL on FOX’s highest-rated regular season broadcast in nearly three years (17.6/30, 12/4/11) and is the most-watched NFL on FOX regular season Sunday broadcast in 19 years.  The game came in +10% in rating and +12% in audience compared to last year’s Week 6 national window (15.8/30, 26.7 million viewers).   Season-to-date (three broadcasts), viewership for AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK is averaging 27.8 million, +1% compared to a year ago, +15% compared to CBS’ national game average (24.2 million), +28% better than NBC Sunday Night Football (21.8 million) and is the highest-rated and most-watched program in all of television, a distinction it has held since 2009…

… CBS and NFL Network’s broadcast of THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on Thursday, Oct. 16, which featured New England’s 27-25 victory over the N.Y. Jets, once again delivered increases in ratings and viewers from last year.  The game earned an average fast-national household rating/share of 10.1/17, +140% from last year’s 4.2/7, and delivered an average of 16.1 million viewers, +137% from last year’s 6.8 million viewers on NFL Network and over-the-air stations within the two team markets (October 17, 2013: Seattle-Arizona). The household rating/share peaked at 10.9/20 from 11:00-11:29 PM, ET and the viewer average peaked at 17.0 million viewers from 9:00-9:30 PM, ET. Through six games of the CBS/NFL Network schedule, THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL is averaging a HH rating/share of 10.0/17, +79% compared to last year’s 5.6/9; and 16.1 million viewers, +79% compared to last year’s 9.0 million – on pace to be the highest-rated and most-watched THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL season ever.

Compared to last year’s CBS primetime programming, THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL was +36% in viewers (14.8 million from 10.9 million); and +37% in HH rating (9.3/16 from 6.8/11), including +78% in Adults 18-49 (4.8 from 2.7) and +51% in Adults 25-54 (5.6 from 3.7). CBS/NFL Network’s HH rating/share of 9.3/16 in primetime beat each of the broadcast networks: +232% better than NBC (2.8/5), +200% better than FOX (3.1/5) and +45% better than ABC (6.4/11), CBS/NFL Network’s viewership of 14.8 million in primetime was +244% better than NBC (4.3m), +190% better than FOX (5.1m) and +59% better than ABC (9.3m)…

…With three races remaining in the 2014 Formula One Season, including NBC’s presentation of the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday, Nov. 2, NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the first 16 races has set numerous viewership milestones across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC, according to The Nielsen Company. NBCSN has averaged 377,000 viewers for its first 11 races, up 93% vs. last year (195,000) and on-pace for the best-ever F1 season for a cable network (since 2002). Viewership is also up 39% vs. SPEED’s F1 coverage in 2012 (271,000).  Of the nine races that aired on NBCSN in both 2013 and 2014, five boasted triple-digit gains in viewership this season, including the Bahrain Grand Prix (April 6), which stands as NBCSN’s most-watched F1 race to date, averaging 594,000 viewers, up 197% from 2013 (200,000). NBCSN’s presentation of the Russian Grand Prix this past Sunday (6:30-8:45 a.m. ET) averaged 402,000 viewers, the seventh of 11 races on NBCSN to exceed 400,000 viewers this year…

…On Saturday night, 9.8 million Canadians tuned into some or all of the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, setting a Hockey Night in Canada record for audience reach on the opening Saturday in October of the NHL season. On Saturday, Game One average audience (7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT) (Pittsburgh @ Toronto; Montreal @ Philadelphia; Ottawa @ Tampa Bay; Calgary @ St. Louis; Washington @ Boston) was 2.23 million viewers. Game Two average audience  (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) (Edmonton @ Vancouver; Winnipeg @ San Jose) was 1.31 million viewers

Then on Sunday, Oct. 12, the first of 25 Rogers Hometown Hockey NHL regular season broadcasts also experienced a strong debut on Sunday night. Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers average audience: 1.07 million viewers…

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