Ratings Roundup: NHL All-Star Game Hits Record Highs for NBCSN; Pro Bowl Hits 10-Year Ratings Low on ESPN

Last Sunday's All-Star Game hit ratings/viewership highs for NBCSN, while ESPN's Pro Bowl he lowest rated since 2006 and least watched since 2007. Also, the Blackhawks top NHL ratings on CSN Chicago and Super Bowl Openign Night draws modest numbers

The 2016 NHL All-Star Game on NBCSN was the most-watched and highest-rated All-Star Game in the network’s history, averaging 1.595 million viewers and a 0.90 household rating (according to Nielsen Fast Nationals). Viewership of this year’s NHL All-Star Game (5:03-8:27 p.m. ET) from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., was up 34% vs. 2015 (1.194 million). This year’s viewership peaked in the 6:30-6:45 p.m. ET quarter hour, as 1.89 million viewers watched MVP John Scott score a pair of goals in the Pacific Division’s 9-6 win against the Central Division. The top markets were Buffalo (3.7), Pittsburgh (3.7), Chicago (3.3), St Louis (2.9), and Detroit (2.9).

All-Star-Logo-Unveil-DLThe previous highs were 1.5 million viewers in 2011 and a 0.8 rating in both 2011 and 2012. Overall, ratings and viewership were the highest for the NHL All-Star Game since 2004 — the last time it aired on ABC (1.8, 2.7M). Excluding postseason, Sunday’s game ranks as the most-watched NHL event ever on NBCSN. However, Saturday NHL All-Star SuperSkills Competition had 870,000 viewers on NBCSN, down 3% from last year (895K), down 21% from 2012 (1.1M), and the smallest audience for the festivities since 2008 (665K). (SMW)

The 2016 NHL All-Star Game produced triple-digit gains across NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs. Viewers consumed 5.7 million minutes, up 235% vs. 2015 (1.7 million), and the event reached 73,600 unique users, up 130% vs. 2015 (32,000)…

Lowest Rated Pro Bowl Since 2007
…While the NHL All-Star Game set a new ratings watermark, the NFL Pro Bowl hit lows with a 4.5 final rating and 8.0 million viewers – the lowest rated since 2006 (3.7) and the least-watched since 2007 (7.0M). The ESPN telecast was down 12% in ratings and 9% in viewership from last year (5.1, 8.8M) and down 32% and 30%, respectively, from 2014 on NBC (6.6, 11.4M). It trailed the MLB All-Star Game (6.6, 10.1M), but topped the NBA All-Star Game (4.3, 7.2M). The Pro Bowl Draft prior to hte game had 557,000 viewers on ESPN2. Visit SportsMediaWatch.com for more in depth analysis of this year’s Pro Bowl numbers…

NBCSN On Pace for Most-Watched NHL Season Ever
At the All-Star break, NBCSN is scoring its most-watched NHL regular season ever. Through the All-Star Game (50 games), the network is averaging 347,000 viewers for a 3% increase over last year at the same point in the season (336,000; 41 telecasts). NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry franchise is generating 554,000 viewers per game (14 games), up 2% through the same date last year (13 telecasts; 543,000)…

Blackhawks, CSN Chicago Top NHL RSN Ratings
…Through the All-Star break (34 total game telecasts), Chicago Blackhawks game telecasts on Comcast SportsNet Chicago are currently delivering an average of over 205,000 total Chicago market viewers per game, which gives the network the distinction of being #1 in the entire nation.  Comcast SportsNet’s average audience for Blackhawks games is outpacing other local market telecasts featuring the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers by a margin of over 60,000 more viewers tuning in per game.

During the Blackhawks franchise-record 12-game regular season winning streak (Dec. 29-Jan. 19), CSN Chicago, which carried nine of the 12 games, averaged a 4.66 Chicago market household rating.  So far in total this season, the Blackhawks are currently averaging a 3.89 household average rating with the current single game high occurring on Jan. 19 at Nashville (5.48 household rating).  Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research overnights.  In addition, Comcast SportsNet’s digital home – CSNChicago.com – is experiencing a solid 38% increase in Blackhawks-related web traffic compared to last season…

Super Bowl Media Day Draws Modest Numbers
Super Bowl Opening Night – essentially Super Bowl Media Day scheduled in primetime for the first time – earned 413,000 viewers on NFL Network and 281,000 on ESPN2 Monday night. Comparable numbers for last year’s media day were not available. (SMW)

Kentucky-Kansas Hits New High for ESPN’s Big 12/SEC Challenge
…The Kentucky at Kansas game on ESPN – as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday, Jan. 30 – generated 2,984,000 viewers, marking the all-time most viewed matchup in the third annual event. The 90-84 overtime game that saw Kansas top Kentucky was up 40 percent in viewership vs. the event’s previous best, last season’s Texas- Kentucky matchup (2,127,000 viewers) on December 5, 2014. Louisville gathered the highest-rated market for the Kentucky-Kansas matchup, bringing in a 19.9 overnight rating, followed by Kansas City (10.1); Knoxville (6.8); Cincinnati (6.1) and Nashville (4.9).

Across all ESPN networks, viewership for the Big 12/SEC Challenge is up 46 percent vs. the 2014 Challenge (846,000 vs. 579,000 viewers) and up 61 percent vs. the 2013 event (846,000 vs. 525,000 viewers). The 2015 event marks the first time the games were staged on a common-bye date during the conference season, matching all 10 of the Big 12 members against 10 teams from the Southeastern Conference. All the games aired across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

In addition to record-breaking viewership on ESPN, the Kentucky-Kansas game also recorded WatchESPN’s third most-watched NCAA men’s basketball game ever, attracting an additional 59,000 average minute impressions to the TV audience. Additionally, the Big 12/SEC Challenge presented by Sonic on Saturday, Jan. 30 saw 219,000 unique viewers that watched 9.1 million total minutes, ranking as the fourth highest NCAA men’s basketball game ever for WatchESPN…

NBA Update: Cavs-Spurs, Warriors-Spurs Come Up Big for ESPN, NBA TV
…NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC – ABC’s and ESPN’s new franchise – won the night on Saturday, Jan. 30, across several key demos for the second consecutive week of the new series. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ decisive 117-103 victory over the San Antonio Spurs generated 3,316,000 average viewers (p2+) and a 2.1 U.S. household rating. The broadcast peaked with nearly four million viewers (3,974,000, p2+) from 10:30-10:45 p.m. The strong numbers propelled ABC to win the night across the following demos: P18-34, P18-49, M18-34, M18-49.  Additionally, Saturday’s broadcast was also the second-most watched and second-highest rated NBA regular-season game of the season across ESPN networks (non-Christmas).

In the San Antonio market, the broadcast delivered a 13.7 rating, making it the highest-rated regular-season NBA game on ABC since 2011(non-Christmas). In the Cleveland market, the broadcast posted a 17.7 rating, making it the second-highest rated regular-season NBA game on ABC since 2009 (non-Christmas)…

…NBA TV’s Jan. 25 telecast featuring the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs generated an average of 1.4 million total viewers to become the network’s most-viewed telecast ever (including both regular season and playoffs). The Warriors/Spurs telecast ­peaked with an average of 1.7 million total viewers from 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET. NBA TV’s total day audience and extended primetime viewership (7 p.m.-midnight ET) also set all-time records on Monday evening. Previously, NBA TV’s most-viewed game telecast was Game 6 of the 2014 NBA Playoffs first round series between the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers with an average of 1,071,000 total viewers  (Thursday, May 1, 2014).  Overall, NBA TV’s live game telecasts were averaging 317,000 total viewers this season as of Jan. 26, up 10% when compared with the same time period last year…

beIN SPORTS Bests Spanish-Language Compeition With Barca-Atlético, Real-Espanyol
beIN SPORTS en Español out delivered its Spanish-language competition both Saturday and Sunday with the exclusive broadcast of two top LaLiga matches – FC Barcelona vs. Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid vs. Espanyol. FC Barcelona vs. Atlético de Madrid match on Jan. 30 drew a total average audience of 446,000 viewers on beIN SPORTS en Español and an additional 165,000 total average viewers on beIN SPORTS for a combined total average audience of 611,000 across both networks. Meanwhile, the live telecast of the Real Madrid vs. Espanyol match delivered an average total audience of 419,000 viewers on beIN SPORTS en Español and a combined average of 495,000 total viewers across both networks. The match outperformed contending Spanish-language sports cable network broadcasts, including: Univision Deportes’ Liga MX matches featuring Tigres vs. Leon (358,000 average total viewers) and Cruz Azul vs. Chiapas FC (351,000 average total viewers); ESPN Deportes’ Mexican First Division match featuring Dorados de Sinaloa vs. America (325,000 average total viewers); NBC Universo’s Fútbol Liga MX match featuring Pachuca vs. Monterrey (89,000 average total viewers); Fox Deportes’ fourth round of the Copa F.A. match featuring Liverpool vs. West Ham (66,000 average total viewers).

Espanyol’s matchup against Real Madrid, or Los Blancos, on Jan. 31 saw similar success, earning a ratings victory among competing Spanish-language cable networks, including: Univision Deportes’ Liga MX matches featuring Toluca vs. Puebla (165,000 average total viewers) and Estados Unidos vs. Islandia (161,000 average total viewers), as well as Fox Deportes’ Bundesliga match featuring Wolfsburg vs. FC Koln (161,000 average total viewers).

PBC Delivers Big Ratings Knockouts
…Bounce TV’s latest edition of Premier Boxing Champions  The Next Round on Jan. 31 ranked as the series’ most-watched telecast to date among young male audiences for the network. The program averaged 418,000 total viewers. (Cynposis Sports)…

…PBC on FOX on Jan. 23 (headlined by Danny Garcia defeating Robert Guerrero), delivered PBC’s best audience since April 2015. The three-fight card averaged a 1.5/3 household rating/share with 2.5 million viewers from 8:00 – 10:37 PM ET, up 36% in rating and up 39% in audience compared to PBC’s last primetime telecast (1.1/2, 1.8 million viewers on NBC, 12/12/15). FOX’s first bout, Dominic Breazeale and Amir Mansour, delivered a 1.3/2 with 2.2 million viewers, followed by Sammy Vasquez’s TKO win over Aron Martinez with a 1.4/2, with 2.2 million viewers, and then Danny Garcia’s win vs. Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision averaging a 1.8/3 with 3.0 million viewers…

Last Weekend’s Odds and Ends

January Catch-up

… beIN SPORTS en Español scored three of the top five sports telecasts of the day among Spanish-language cable networks on January 24. Real Madrid vs. Real Betis match delivered a total average audience of 454,000 viewers on beIN SPORTS en Español. The other two of three beIN SPORTS en Español telecasts to top the day included the Atlético de Madrid vs. Sevilla match and the Network’s studio pre-game show, “The Express Preview,” which aired prior to the Espanyol vs. Villarreal matchup…

…On Jan. 24, No. 4 Villanova hosted No. 16 Providence in Philadelphia and (despite the challenge of being postponed from Saturday due to severe weather) the game averaged 905,000 viewers on FOX broadcast network and is now FOX Sports’ most-watched BIG EAST men’s college basketball game (featuring two conference teams), regardless of network, since the package launched during the 2013-14 season. The prior record of 721,000 was set last season and featured Villanova at Marquette, also on FOX (2/21/15). Only one other men’s college basketball game on FOX has ever attracted a bigger audience than Providence-Villanova, and that was Duke at St. John’s last season, which resulted in Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski winning his 1,000th career game (2.2 million, 1/25/15)…

…NBC’s Aston Villa v. Leicester City match on Jan. 16 (a 1-1 draw) delivered more than 1 million viewers, marking NBC’s sixth match to average more than 1 million viewers this season – up from two at the same point last season. With six matches topping the 1 million mark, NBC has already surpassed the prior high of four such matches in the 2014-15 season…

…PBR’s first CBS broadcast of the season notched a .9 on Jan. 16. That marks a 28% spike over 2015 numbers for the event. The company returns to the network next on Jan. 31 with the Anaheim Invitational. (Cynopsis Sports).

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