SVG Biz Report: Ratings for Women’s World Cup, NBA Finals Go Sky High

The U.S. tripled Australia in their opening Group-stage match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 on Fox Sports 1 Monday night and trebled the audience for the side’s starter at the 2011 edition of the quadrennial event. On ABC, The King continued his reign on the court, with the network scoring its highest overnight ever for an NBA Finals Game 3.

FS1 averaged 3.31 million viewers with its coverage of the Americans’ 3-1 win over the Matildas in Winnipeg on June 8, notching the network’s highest-ever soccer audience. Moreover, the delivery was more than triple the 1.07 million for the U.S.’s first match in the 2011 tourney.

The telecast’s tally was the most-watched FIFA Women’s World Cup Group clash ever, according to Nielsen data, eclipsing the 2.46 million audience for the U.S.-Denmark game on June 19, 1999. (Data for the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991 is unavailable.)

Monday night’s audience dwarfed the previous futbol record on FS1: the 806,000 viewers for the U.S. men’s team versus Mexico on April 15.

Washington, DC, topped all metered markets with a 4.5 rating, followed by Baltimore (3.8), St. Louis (3.7), Hartford (3.6), San Diego (3.2), Seattle (3.1), Orlando (2.9), Sacramento (2.9), Kansas City (2.9), and Los Angeles (2.8).

Over the first eight matches of the tournament, FS1, FS2, and Fox Broadcasting have averaged 1.054 million viewers, a 76% jump from 598,000 in 2011.

As for digital, U.S.-Australia posted 118,000 unique streams on Fox Sports Go, the most-streamed authenticated event ever on the app, surpassing the previous mark set by 2014 World Series Game 7.

NBA Finals on ABC
Led by LeBron James with an assist from Matthew Dellavedova, the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a furious Stephen Curry-led charge to take a 2-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors as ABC notched a 13.7 overnight rating. That delivery marked the network’s highest-rated Game 3 ever and was 33% greater than the 10.3 for the corresponding game in 2014 between the San Antonio Spurs and James’s former club, the Miami Heat.

Tuesday’s telecast peaked with a 16.4 mark in the 11:30 p.m. ET quarter hour.

ABC reports that, with each of the contests setting ratings marks, the 2015 edition ranks as its highest-rated NBA series through that stage of the Finals competition.

Cleveland was the top market, with Game 3 logging a 49.0 rating; it’s the highest-rated NBA game ever on ABC or ESPN in the market, eclipsing the marks it set for both Games 1 and 2. In the San Francisco market, Game 3 generated a 31.6 rating, second behind Game 2’s 31.7 as the highest-rated NBA game ever on ABC or ESPN in the market.

Columbus, OH, was third among the markets, with a 25.2, followed by Memphis’s 19.5 and Atlanta’s 17.0. Rounding out the top 10: Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (16.8); Sacramento and Norfolk, both with a 16.2; Birmingham (15.2); and Raleigh-Durham (15.1).

NBA Finals Game 3 also set records on WatchESPN. The June 9 contest garnered 736,200 unique viewers, compiling an average minute audience of 207,300. Both posted platform records for an NBA game and were up 113% and 118%, respectively, from last year’s Spurs-Heat Game 3.

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