Ratings Roundup: British Open Tees Up Big Audience on NBC; MLB All-Star Hits Record Low

NBC yesterday drew a 3.9 overnight rating for the exhilarating final round of the British Open. The Henrik Stenson-Phil Mickelson duel marked the best final round for the event since it last aired on broadcast TV in the U.S. in ’09, when ABC also drew a 3.9 overnight for Stewart Cink’s four-hole playoff win over Tom Watson. 
open-champLast year, the event finished on a Monday, with ESPN drawing a 2.6 overnight as Zach Johnson held off Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a four-hole playoff. ESPN’s British Open coverage peaked in ’13 (3.6 overnight), when Mickelson won the event. This year also marked the first time on record (dating back to ’88) that the British Open final round beat the U.S. Open final round (3.8 on Fox). (SportsBusiness Daily)…

…Third round coverage of the British Open earned a 2.75 overnight rating on NBC Saturday, up 6% from last year on ESPN, when coverage aired on a Sunday due to rain (2.6). Compared to last year’s Saturday coverage, overnights increased 25% from a 2.2 for roughly two hours of live play and 76% from a 1.6 for the full telecast window.(SMW)…

…The MLB All-Star Game on Fox on July 12 limped to 8.71 million viewers and a 5.4 household rating, down 20% and 18%, respectively, versus last year’s draw of 10.9 million viewers and a 6.6 rating. The telecast marks the lowest rated and least-watched MLB All-Star Game ever and only time on record that game has delivered fewer than 10 million viewers. According to AdAge, The game also earned a 2.2 and 2.79 million in the adults 18 to 49 demo, which is down 29% versus last year’s 3.1 rating. Two years ago (Derek Jeter’s Final All-Star Game), Fox averaged a 11.3 million viewers and a 7.0 household rating. Nonetheless, the MLB All-Star Game continues to out-deliver other All-Star Games, including ESPN’s 2016 NFL Pro Bowl (averaged 7.99 million viewers and a 4.5 household rating) and TNT/TBS’ NBA All-Star Game (drew 7.61 million viewers and a 4.3 rating)…

…Last Sunday’s Williams/Angelique Kerber Wimbledon women’s final earned a 1.5 final rating and 2.2 million viewers on ESPN, down 12% in ratings and 10% in viewership from Williams/Garbine Muguruza last year (1.7, 2.4M) but up 67% and 66%, respectively, from Petra Kvitova/Eugenie Bouchard in 2014 (0.9, 1.3M), according to SportsMediaWatch.

However, ESPN’s full six hour-telecast telecast on July 9 (which featured the Ladies Championship and Williams sisters winning the Ladies’ Doubles Championship) earned a 1.1 U.S. rating and 1,604,000 viewers (P2+), making it the highest-rated and most-viewed Ladies’ Championship telecast since 2012, when ESPN began airing the match. Ratings are up 9% over last year and viewership is up 12% (1.0; 1,428,000). Compared to 2014, ratings are up over 110% and viewership is up over 125% (0.5; 704,000).

On Sunday, the Andy Murray/Milos Raonic men’s final posted a 1.5 rating and 2.2 million viewers — down 21% in ratings and 19% in viewership from Novak Djokovic/Roger Federer last year (1.9, 2.7M) and down 21% and 22%, respectively, from that same matchup in 2014 (1.9, 2.8M). It was the lowest rated and least-watched men’s final since ESPN began airing the event in 2012, according to SMW.

The full 5 1/2 hour telecast window had a 1.2 rating and 1,791,000 viewers.— down 14% and 11%, respectively, from last year (1.4, 2.0M). The 1.2 rating is the lowest for Wimbledon coverage featuring the men’s final since at least 1996 and viewership was the lowest since at least 2001.

On the streaming side, Wimbledon on WatchESPN set a record for live and replay minutes viewed in ESPN’s Wimbledon coverage history. There were 282,300,000 minutes viewed of the tournament, up 26% over 2015. In addition, the Men’s Quarterfinals coverage on Wednesday had the most minutes viewed for a day of Wimbledon ever on WatchESPN (26,100,000 live minutes) with the Gentlemen’s Championship on ESPN as the most-viewed feed of the tournament with 197,000 viewers…

…In Canada, The WIMBLEDON men’s final drew an average audience of 1.6 million viewers to TSN and RDS (according to overnight data from Numeris), making it the most-watched men’s tennis match in Canadian television history. Overall, 4.7 million unique viewers tuned in to watch Raonic become the first Canadian men’s singles player to compete in a Grand Slam final, with audiences peaking at 2.4 million viewers in the third set of the match.

On July 8, Raonic’s semifinal win over Roger Federer attracted an average audience of 766,000 viewers to TSN and RDS, breaking the record for most-watched WIMBLEDON men’s semifinal ever. The Raonic-Federer match reached 2.5 million unique viewers and peaked at 831,000 viewers as Raonic served for the win…

…North of the border, Sportsnet’s broadcast of the 2016 MLB All-Star Game was the most-watched MLB All-Star Game ever in Canada, delivering an average of993,000 viewers. The 993,000 average audience marks a 54% increase over the previous most-watched MLB All-Star Game, which attracted an average of 645,000 viewers on Sportsnet (2014 MLB All-Star Game in Minneapolis). It also marks a year-over-year increase of71% over the 2015 MLB All-Star Game (581,000) in Cincinnati. Overall, 3.15 million Canadians watched some part of last night’s 87th Midsummer Classic, as Blue Jays players Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Aaron Sanchez, Michael Saunders and Marco Estrada (DL),and the rest of their American League All-Star teammates defeated the National League All-Stars 4-2.

Sportsnet’s broadcast of the 2016 Home Run Derby on Monday night delivered an average audience of 810,000, marking a 7%increase over 2015 (755,000) and placing it as the 3rd most-watched Home Run Derby in Sportsnet history….

…The UEFA EURO 2016 Final on ESPN and ESPN Deportes on July 10 (a 1-0 victory in extra time to secure Portugal’s first-ever title in an international competition) ranks as the most-watched UEFA European Football Championship match on the ESPN networks. The 2.5-hour telecast (3-5:30 p.m. ET) averaged 5,899,000 viewers combined for the game window on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The audience was up 2% from the 5,758,000 viewers who watched the UEFA EURO 2012 Final (Spain vs. Italy) on both ESPN English and Spanish-language networks.

However, ESPN (without Deportes) finished with 4.54 million viewers for the Euro 2016 finale, which is down slightly from the net’s 4.58 million viewers for Spain-Italy in ’12. It is still higher than the top audience for the Copa America Centenario last month, however.

An average audience of 1,361,000 viewers (4.9 Hispanic rating) watched Portugal-France on ESPN Deportes, up 14 percent from 1,191,000 viewers for the EURO 2012 Final – making Sunday’s match the most-watched program ever on ESPN Deportes.


On ESPN, the game window averaged 4,538,000 viewers (2.5 rating), slightly down from 4,567,000 viewers for the EURO 2012 final. The match was the highest-rated telecast of the day on cable among households, viewers, and all key male and adult demos.


On WatchESPN, the UEFA EURO 2016 Final had an average minute audience of 237,000 (+22 percent from 2012) with 49,700,000 live minutes viewed (+61 percent) and a time spent per viewer of 52 minutes (+13 percent).  It was the most watched EURO match across the 2016 and 2012 tournaments on WatchESPN…

Overall, ESPN finished with 4.54 million viewers for the Euro 2016 finale, which saw Portugal beat host country France. That figure is down slightly from the net’s 4.58 million viewers for Spain-Italy in ’12. That figure also is higher than the top audience for the Copa America Centenario last mont…

…Up North the UEFA EURO 2016 Final attracted an average audience of 2.4 million viewers to TSN and RDS, making it the most-watched program of the day on Canadian television. The 2016 tournament becomes the most-watched UEFA EURO ever on Canadian television, with a record of 51.4 million hours watched.

…With the first half of the 2016 MLB season in the books, SportsNet LA averaged a 1.21 Household Rating and 91,381Average Viewers through the Dodgers first 91 games.  That represents a +51% increase in Household Ratings  (1.21 vs. .80) and a +56% increase in Average Viewers (91,381 vs. 58,564) when compared to the team’s 2015 television ratings through the first 91 games.  In addition, when compared to the Angels television ratings on FSW this season, SportsNet LA has rated +11% higher in Household Ratings (1.21 vs. 1.09) and +3% higher in Average Viewers (91,381 vs. 88,862)…

…The Blue Jays rolled into the All-Star break with big ratings, seting a record for Sportsnet as the most-watched first half season in network history, delivering an average audience of 825,000 viewers (2+). This marks an increase of 51% in comparison to the average audience at the same time last year (545,000). Season-to-date in 2016, 45% of the Canadian population has watched a regular season Blue Jays game on Sportsnet. Plus, the month of June was a hot one for both Sportsnet and the Blue Jays, with Sportsnet delivering an overall 5.9 audience share and an average audience of 216,000 – a year-over-year increase of 29%. Sportsnet was also Canada’s #1 specialty channel in June and the third most-watched of all Canadian networks (conventional or specialty) for the month.

For the month of June, MLB game coverage on Sportsnet (non-Blue Jays) is up 17% vs. same time last year, delivering an average audience of 102,000.

…The 2016 ESPY Awards earned a 3.6 final rating and 5.6 million viewers on ABC Wednesday night, down 29% in ratings and 28% in viewership from last year’s record-high 5.1 and 7.7 million but up 125% and 120%, respectively, from 2014 — when coverage aired on ESPN and ESPN2 (1.6, 2.6M). (SMW)

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