Ratings Roundup: ESPN’s Pan Am Games Pull in 33M viewers, NBCSN, Univision Deportes Post Big Julys

ESPN and ESPN Deportes reached 32.9 million viewers (P2+) during the 17 days of live coverage across totaling close to 900 hours on television and online from Pan American Games Toronto 2015 (July 10-26). Across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Deportes, the Pan Am Games reached 32.9 million viewers (P2+) (an increase of 41 percent from the 2011 Games). Across those networks, the Pan Am Games reached 8.6 million Hispanics viewers (P2+). The Pan Am Games on ESPN Deportes reached 5.6 million Hispanic viewers (P2+). During the Games, ESPN Deportes ranked as the #1 Spanish-language cable network in the late-morning timeslot (10a-3p), and #2 in total day among Hispanic M18-49.

Inside ESPN's control room, located within the IBC. Camera feeds from ESPN's studio locations and select venues are transmitted back to the IBC where they are cut, packaged, and sent to Bristol. Photo courtesy of ESPN.

Inside ESPN’s control room, located within the IBC. Camera feeds from ESPN’s studio locations and select venues are transmitted back to the IBC where they are cut, packaged, and sent to Bristol. Photo courtesy of ESPN.

The Games brought in a more diverse audience to the ESPN English language networks, delivering an above-average composition of Hispanic, non-Hispanic black and female viewers. During the Pan Am telecasts, close to half of ESPN2’s audience was multicultural (not non-Hispanic-White) – on average, about one-third of ESPN2’s audience is multicultural. The audience was 17% Hispanic, one the highest Hispanic composition for an event or studio program on the network. About a third of the audience was female on both ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes – compared to about 25% for the networks’ average. The ESPN2 audience was 28% non-Hispanic black, slightly higher than the network’s average (25%)…

…Driven by its CONCACAF Gold Cup coverage, Univision Deportes set new ratings records in July, as UDN (Univision Deportes Network) outperformed ESPN 2, Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network, among others, in primetime among Total Viewers 2+, Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 and ranking as the No. 2 sports network regardless of language in July.

UDN set new ratings records in July, tying with ESPN for #1 among men 18-34 and #2 delivering more Total Viewers 2+, Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 than every cable sports network beside ESPN in primetime, regardless of language. This was the first time a Spanish-language cable sports network ever ranked as the # 1 or  #2 sports network for a month in any key daypart. UDN averaged 454,000 Total Viewers 2+, 279,000 Adults 18-49 and 139,000 Adults 18-34 in primetime in July, establishing a new network record. Viewership bested ESPN 2 by +80% among Total Viewers 2+, by +194% among Adults 18-49 and by +256% among Adults 18-34, bested Fox Sports 1 by +8% among Total Viewers 2+, by +44% among Adults 18-49 and by +65% among Adults 18-34, and bested NBCSN by +23% among Total Viewers 2+, by +200% among Adults 18-49 and by +415% among Adults 18-34.

The UDN broadcast of the Gold Cup final between Mexico and Jamaica delivered 1.7 million Total Viewers, 1.0 million Adults 18-49, and 542,000 Adults 18-34, the most-viewed telecast ever on the network, and the 3rd most-viewed sports telecast last week on all TV regardless of language among Adults 18-34. Viewership was largest ever for a Spanish-language sports network.

During the month of July, Univision Deportes reached 31.7 million Total Viewers 2+ with 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup coverage via television and digital. Univision Deportes live streaming provided 6% lift to TV viewership. The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament averaged 2.0 million Total Viewers 2+, 1.1 million Adults 18-49 and 562,000 Adults 18-34 per match on Univision Deportes, out-delivering its coverage of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup by +40% among Total Viewers 2+, by +42% among Adults 18-49 and by +49% among Adults 18-34. Univision Deportes aired the top 9 most-viewed matches of the tournament among Total Viewers 2+, Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 on any network regardless of language. 25 of the 26 tournament matches drew more Total Viewers 2+, Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 on Univision Deportes than Fox Sports. Univision Deportes delivered more than 4 times the audience size of Fox Sports among Total Viewers 2+, Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34.

The Gold Cup final with Mexico vs. Jamaica aired Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET on Univision, simulcast on UDN, and averaged 6.0 million Total Viewers 2+, 3.5 million Adults 18-49 and 1.8 million Adults 18-34. Viewership increased +148% among Total Viewers 2+, +164% among Adults 18-49 and +170% among Adults 18-34 compared with the 2013 Gold Cup final match between USA and Panama on Univision. This was the most-viewed match of the 2015 Gold Cup tournament on any network regardless of language…

…The debut of NASCAR on NBCSN drove the network to its best July Total Day and Primetime viewership in NBCSN history. With the full NASCAR slate plus milestone-setting IndyCar and Tour de France race coverage, NBCSN posted its most-watched July ever in Total Day (218,000 average viewers) and Primetime (368,000) viewership, according to live plus same day data released by The Nielsen Company. Highlighting the month, this past Sunday’s live telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the network’s most-watched telecast ever, averaging 4.7 million viewers. Viewership peaked at 5.6 million from 6:30-6:45 p.m. ET as Kyle Busch raced to his third consecutive victory. In the key demographic for the month (June 29-July 26), NBCSN averaged 57,000 Total Day viewers among Adults 18-49 (up 68% from 2014) and 93,000 Primetime A18-49 viewers (up 60%).

NBCSN averaged 218,000 Total Day (6 a.m-6 a.m.) viewers – marking the best July in NBCSN history. The July 2015 record viewership jumped 91% from the network’s Total Day viewership last July (114,000) and is up 25% from the prior record for the month (175,000) set in July 2012, which included coverage of the opening days of the 2012 London Olympics. NBCSN also posted its best July ever in primetime viewership with an average of 368,000 viewers – up 95% from last year (189,000) and a 7% increase from the prior best (345,000) set in July 2003.

Viewership grew each week for NASCAR Sprint Cup on NBCSN, as the July 26 Brickyard 400 viewership was up 27% from New Hampshire (3.7 million) and up 47% from Kentucky (3.2 million). NASCAR America posted its most-watched month ever, averaging 106,000 viewers. The show’s average topped July 2014 viewership by 43%.

NBCSN posted the best viewership for its live morning Tour de France telecasts since 2010 (the last year Lance Armstrong rode in the race), averaging 365,000 viewers – up 27% from last year (288,000).

NBCSN’s coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series posted viewership milestones in succeeding weeks. The July 18 primetime telecast of the Iowa Corn 300 averaged 541,000 viewers, making it the network’s most-watched IndyCar race in four years (Sept. 4, 2011, 591,000 viewers, Baltimore), and eclipsing the milestone hit just six days earlier for the network’s IndyCar presentation from Milwaukee (532,000 viewers). Dating back to the Fontana race on June 27, three consecutive IndyCar races on NBCSN have topped 500,000 viewers – a first since NBC Sports Group acquired IndyCar cable exclusivity in 2008…

… Last week’s New York Yankees-Texas Rangers put up big numbers across YES, Fox Sports 1 and ESPN. On July 30, for the second straight night, YES had its most-watched and highest-rated Yankees telecast of the 2015 season.  The Yankees-Rangers telecast attracted 315,000 average Total TV Households and averaged a 4.24 TV Household rating, eclipsing the preceding night’s previous season-high:  302,000 average TV Households/4.06 average TV Household rating. Of YES’ 11 highest-rated Yankees games this season, four have come in the past two weeks. YES’ 2015 Yankees game ratings have increased by 13% since June 17.

On July 28, Yankees/Rangers Major League Baseball game, which New York won 21-5, scored 823,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1 — the network’s largest MLB audience since it began airing games last year. The previous high was 817,000 for Indians/Tigers in April. FS1 has now earned two of its three largest MLB audiences in the past few days, with Saturday’s Braves/Cardinals game ranking third (800K). (SMW)

The preceding night The Yankees/Rangers Monday Night Baseball game scored 842,000 viewers on ESPN, up 2% from the same matchup last year (826K), but down 10% from the same matchup in 2013 (935K). The game ranks 11th out of the 19 Monday night telecasts this season, and last among the Yankees’ five appearances. (SMW)…

…In other New York baseball news, the Aug. 2 edition of ESPN’s Sunday Night l – the New York Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 5-2 – delivered a 1.7 overnight rating.. This is up six percent from a 1.6 for last year’s comparable game (L.A. Dodgers-San Francisco Giants). In New York, the telecast generated a 6.4, making it the highest-rated regular-season Major League Baseball game on ESPN in the market since July 8, 2012 (Red Sox-Yankees, 7.1). It is also the highest-rated Mets game (excluding Mets-Yankees) on ESPN in the market since Aug. 5, 2007 (Mets-Cubs in Tom Glavine’s 300th win, 7.6). In Washington D.C., the telecast delivered a 4.1 rating, making it the highest-rated regular-season MLB game on ESPN in the market since the inaugural game at Nationals Park on Mar. 30, 2008 (6.4)…

FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT: DILLASHAW VS. BARAO 2 delivered a 1.7/4, for the four-fight main card from 8:00 PM ET to 10:30 PM ET. The show posted an average of 2.8 million viewers watching the FOX broadcast network on Saturday night, up +13 percent over last year’s comparable 1.5/3, with 2.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The show ranked as the top-rated sports event of the day. The audience peaked during the final fight of the evening, garnering a 2.4/5 and 3.8 million viewers. Saturday night’s fight card opened with a 1.3/3 as Joe Lauzon made short work of Takanori Gomi with a first round TKO. The second bout of the night, which saw Edson Barboza emerge victorious over Paul Felder for an epic battle that went the distance, did a 1.6/4. The women’s bantamweight match averaged a solid 2.0/4 as Miesha Tate defeated Jessica Eye by decision. The UFC FIGHT NIGHT powered FOX to place first for the night in primetime among the broadcast networks across key demos including Men 18-49 and Adults 18-49. Earlier in the day, FOX’s coverage of the UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIM bouts from 6:00 PM ET – 8:00 PM ET posted a 0.9/2, with 1.3 million viewers, +13% better than last year’s delivery (0.8/2).

…The WNBA All-Star Game 2015 on ABC delivered a 23% viewership increase over 2014 (when it aired on ESPN), with an average of 583,000 viewers and peaked from 5 – 5:30 p.m. ET with 671,000 viewers. The top five markets for the 2015 All-Star Game were (US household rating): Louisville (2.1), Hartford-New Haven (1.9), Kansas City (1.7), Richmond (1.4) and Raleigh-Durham (1.3.)…

…FOX Deportes’ coverage of the Copa Libertadores firstleg final pitting Tigres from Mexico and River Plate from Argentina ranked as the top program in its category for the day on July 29, reeling in701,000 total viewers and 470,000 in the P18-49 demo. That makes it the highest-rated Copa Libertadores match of the season and the channel’s most-watched first leg final since 2010. (Cynopsis Sports)…

…Viewership for NBC’s coverage of American Pharoah’s run-away victory in the William Hill Haskell Invitational peaked at 3.1 million viewers between 5:45-6:06 p.m. ET, as American Pharoah – the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years – ran to an easy 2¼-length victory. NBC’s full telecast (5:00-6:06 p.m. ET), averaged 2.0 million viewers to rank as the most-watched horse racing telecast to take place between the Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup in 13 years (9/29/02 on NBC; 2.9 million viewers for “The NTRA Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships,” which featured Breeders’ Cup prep races from four tracks). Sunday’s viewership was up 102% from last year’s Haskell on NBC.

In addition, viewers streamed more than 100,000 live minutes via NBC Sports Live Extra on Sunday – a 15-fold increase from last year’s Haskell. Sunday’s racing also drew a record 60,983 spectators to Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J….

…NBCSN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Pocono Raceway averaged 4.3 million viewers and posted 2.6 HH rating Sunday afternoon, down 7% in ratings and 2% in viewership from last year (2.8, 4.4M) and down 19% and 15%, respectively, from 2013 (3.2, 5.1M), both on ESPN. The 2.6 rating is the lowest for the race since at least 1998, falling below the previous mark set last year. Viewership ranks as the lowest since at least 2000, again falling below last year’s previous low. (SMW)…

…The final round of the PGA Tour Quicken Loans Invitational, which saw Troy Merritt hold off Rickie Fowler for his first win on Tour, drew a 2.5 overnight, marking the event’s best figure since Tiger Woods won in 2012 (4.6). The third round coverage earned a 2.1/6, up 75% over last year and ranked as the highest-rated third round for this event in the metered markets since 2012. (SBD)

… MLB Network drew its most-watched Trade Deadline coverage in network history last week, scoring an average Nielsen total day audience of 147,000 viewers for its coverage spanning July 25-31. That is up 19% in total viewership over the week-long coverage in 2014, including a 77% spike in the Men 18-34 demo. Deadline Day on Friday handed the channel with its second-highest regular season total day audience ever with an average of 193,000 viewers. (Cynopsis Sports)

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters


The Latest in Sports Video Production & Technology
in Your Inbox for FREE

Daily Email Newsletters Monday - Friday