Ratings Roundup: Cubs Drive Big World Series Audience for Fox, Warriors Open NBA Season Big on TNT

Ratings roundup is a rundown of ratings news from the past week and is derived from press releases and reports around the web. In this week’s edition, the Cubs power big numbers in World Series Games 1 and 2, a full rundown of the ALCS and NLCS, a big NBA Opening Night for TNT, NFL Week 7 ratings, Week 8 of the college football season, NBCSN’s NASCAR coverage from Talladega, and more. 

World Series Up Big Through Two Games 
Game 2 of the 2016 World Series on Wednesday between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field produced an 11.3/19 rating/share and yielded a combined average of 17.8 million viewers across FOX, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports GO, making it the highest-rated and most-watched Game 2 of the Fall Classic since 2009 (Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees, 19.2 million viewers).

2016-world-series-svgThe Cubs’ 5-1 victory over the Indians tied the series at 1-1 and drew an average television audience of 17.4 million viewers on the FOX broadcast network, a +27% increase over last year’s 13.7 million viewers for Game 2 between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals. That is also a +35% gain over 2014’s Game 2 between the Royals and the San Francisco Giants (12.9 million viewers).

Last night’s game also showed significant double-digit ratings increases over 2015 in a number of key demographics, including a +23% increase in both the A18-49 (4.8 vs. 3.9) and M12-17 (2.7 vs. 2.2) categories, in addition to a +18% lift in the M18-49 demo (5.8 vs. 4.9).

The game averaged 278,000 viewers on FOX Deportes, a +52% increase over last year’s World Series Game 2 (141,000 viewers). An additional 115,004 viewers comprised the average minute audience on FOX Sports GO, contributing to the combined total of 17.8 million viewers (Fox Sports)…

…One night prior, World Series Game 1 registered 19.786 million viewers (according to Nielsen Fast Nationals) was baseball’s most-watched World Series Game 1 since 2004’s epic matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox (vs. 23.2 million viewers). Tuesday night’s 6-0 Indians shutout recorded an average of 19.4 million viewers on the FOX broadcast network, 297,000 viewers on FOX Deportes, and an average minute audience of 121,073 on FOX Sports GO, the television network’s live streaming platform. FOX delivered a fast national rating/share of 11.3/20 with 19.4 million viewers for Game 1, which is up +30% in viewership (vs. 14.9 million) and +26% in rating/share (vs. 9.0/17) over last year’s Game 1. Compared to 2014’s World Series Game 1, the margins are even greater with last night’s game up +55% (vs. 7.3/12 – 12.2 million viewers).

In the male demos, FOX saw strong increases across the board for Tuesday night’s game over last year in M12-17 (+68%; 3.2 vs. 1.9), M18-34 (+17%; 5.5 vs. 4.7), M18-49 (+18%; 7.1 vs. 6.0) and M25-54 (+22%; 8.3 vs. 6.8).

Additionally, the broadcast on FOX is the highest-rated and most-watched Game 1 of the World Series since 2009’s New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies matchup (vs. 11.9/19 – 19.5 million viewers) and is the highest-rated and most-watched baseball telecast of any kind since 2014’s World Series Game 7 when the San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals (vs. 13.7/23 – 23.5 million). Viewership on the FOX broadcast network peaked at 22.7 million between 9:15pm – 9:30pm ET.

FOX Deportes averaged a .99 household rating and 297,000 total viewers, which ranks as the most-watched World Series game on Spanish-language television since Game 7 of the 2014 series. When compared to last year’s World Series Game 1, FOX Deportes is up +49% on total viewers from Mets vs. Royals (vs. 200,000 viewers).

On the digital side, last night’s Game 1 is the second-highest average minute audience of any authenticated event in FOX Sports GO history. (Fox Sports)…

Warriors Give TNT Biggest NBA Opening Night Since 2013
TNT’s exclusive NBA Opening Night doubleheader featuring the New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors averaged 3.2 million total viewers and a 1.9 U.S. HH Rating to deliver the network’s most-viewed and highest-rated opening night coverage since 2013, based on Nielson Fast Nationals. TNT’s Opening Night doubleheader average of 3.2 million total viewers is up 10% over last year’s comparable doubleheader. The network’s Opening Night viewership is an 89% increase over TNT’s average viewership for NBA regular season game telecasts last season.

Tuesday night’s doubleheader coverage propelled TNT to win the night across all of cable television, in addition to netting a 97% increase across Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms and new records across social media channels.

San Antonio’s lopsided 129-100 win over Golden State averaged a 2.1 U.S. HH rating and 3.5 million total viewers, up 40% and 38%, respectively, vs. last year’s comparable game (Pelicans/Warriors – 2.5 million viewers, 1.5 U.S. HH rating in 2015).   In the opener, the Cavaliers’ 117-88 win over the Knicks averaged a 1.7 U.S. HH rating and 2.9 million total viewers. The Spurs/Warriors telecast peaked with 4.1 million total viewers from 12-12:15 a.m. Knicks/Cavaliers peaked with an average of three million total viewers from 9:30-9:45 p.m. TNT’s Spurs/Warriors telecast generated a 12.4 HH rating in the Bay Area, the network’s highest rated regular season NBA game telecast ever in the market, and an 11.8 HH rating in San Antonio. Knicks/Cavs averaged a 9.1 HH rating in Cleveland and a 4.6 in New York.

Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms garnered more than 5.5 million minutes of video consumption and 311,000 video starts, +97% and +144%, respectively, when compared to last year’s opening night.

Content published via NBA on TNT’s Facebook and Twitter accounts generated an opening night record 48 million social media impressions, up 30% over last year. Turner’s accounts netted more than 5.3 million video views – also an opening night record – up 275% vs. 2015. The Cavs’ NBA Ring Ceremony streamed via NBA on TNT’s Facebook Live reached nearly 4.1 million viewers while generating nearly 561,000 video views and 512,000 minutes watched. (Turner Sports)…

LCS Recap: Cubs Power Big NLCS For Fox, TBS’s ALCS Worst on Record
The Cubs historic 5-0 pennant-clinching victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night at Wrigley Field delivered an average audience of 9,706,000 viewers, making it the most-watched in FS1 history (according to Nielsen Fast Nationals). Saturday night’s 9,706,000 average viewer audience marks the most-watched LCS telecast on any network since 2010 (vs. San Francisco Giants-Philadelphia Phillies on FOX 11,639,000). The game peaked at 12,213,000 viewers on FS1 between 10:30 PM – 10:45 PM ET as the game ended. In Chicago, NLCS Game 6 delivered an astounding 25.8/46 metered market rating/share, FS1’s best ever for the market. Los Angeles registered a 10.2/23.

Following the final out of the game, baseball fans stuck with FS1’s trophy presentation and postgame show airing from 11:00 PM – 12:30 AM ET, delivering a 2.27 metered market rating/share, its best this postseason. Audience figures for postgame coverage are available Tuesday.

On the digital front, FOX Sports GO’s average minute audience for the game was 110,506 viewers. Saturday night’s game delivered 273,000 total viewers on FOX Deportes, peaking at 397,000 between 10:30 PM – 10:45 PM ET.  Overall, the 2016 NLCS is the most-watched LCS in the history of Spanish language television. (Fox Sports)

…NLCS Game 5 delivered an average audience of 7,180,000 viewers on FS1 (according to Nielsen Fast Nationals),  up +179% (vs. 2,577,000 viewers) over Game 5 of last year’s American League Championship Series featuring the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, and up +47% (vs. 4,891,000 viewers) over the 2014 NLCS series-clinching Game 5 between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals on FS1. In Chicago, NLCS Game 5 delivered a 24.1/38 metered market rating/share and nearly doubled the performance of Thursday night’s NFL contest between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers (vs. 12.5/19), which aired head-to-head. (Fox Sports)…

…On FS1, the 2016 NLCS averaged 6,953,000 viewers over the six games, up +80% from last year’s ALCS (vs. 3,854,000 viewers) and +56% from San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals NLCS on FS1 in 2014 (vs. 4,459,000 viewers) that ended in five games. All ten of FS1’s most-watched events are MLB Postseason games, including eight from the 2016 postseason. (Fox Sports)

However the six-game series was down 11% from last year’s four-game Mets/Cubs NLCS series on TBS (7.9 million), per SMW

…On TBS, the five-game Indians/Blue Jays ALCS averaged 3.3 million, down 13% from Royals/Blue Jays last year, down 34% from the four-game Royals/Orioles series in 2014 (5.1M), and the least-watched LCS on record. Figures do not include Canadian viewership, which does not count toward U.S. television ratings. The previous low was 3.9 million for Royals/Blue Jays last year, and the low before that was 4.3 million for Rockies/Diamondbacks in 2007. (SMW)

NFL Week 7 Recap: Downward Trend Continues
The Week 7 Texans/Broncos Monday Night Football game had a 6.7 final rating and 11.2 million viewers on ESPN, down 14% in ratings and 8% in viewership from Ravens/Cardinals last year (7.8, 12.2M). (SMW)…

The Week 7 Seahawks/Cardinals Sunday Night Football game had a 10.2 final rating and 17.7 million viewers on NBC, down 16% in ratings and 14% in viewership from Eagles/Panthers last year (12.2, 20.6M). (SMW)

…The Week 7 NFL singleheader window, featuring Vikings/Eagles in 46% of markets, had a 10.1 final rating and 16.9 million viewers on FOX Sunday afternoon — down 13% in ratings and 12% in viewership from last year (11.6, 19.2M). (SMW)…

…The Week 7 Patriots/Steelers NFL national window had a 12.6 final rating and 21.7 million viewers on CBS Sunday afternoon, down 13% in ratings and 11% in viewership from last year (14.4, 24.5M) (SMW)…

The Week 7 Giants/Rams NFL International Series game from London had 3.7 million viewers on NFL Network Sunday morning, up 125% from live stream coverage of Bills/Jaguars on Yahoo! last year, which averaged 1.6 million viewers per minute in the United States (2.4 million worldwide). The game had a 2.35 rating; there was no comparable figure released last year. (SMW)…

…The Week 7 Bears/Packers Thursday Night Football game earned 14.2 million viewers on CBS and NFL Network Thursday night, down 17% from Seahawks/49ers last year (17.1M). (SMW)

Visit SportsMediaWatch.com for more in-depth analysis of last week’s NFL ratings

College Football Week 8 Recap 
…CBS’s SEC matchup of Alabama and Texas A&M scored the highest college football rating of weekend with a 5.4/13 rating/share, up 29% over last year’s 4.2/9. The game peaked with 6.7/15 from 6-6:30 PM ET. (CBS Sports via Twitter)…

… ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Ohio State at Penn State (8 p.m.) delivered a total live audience (TV+ streaming) of 6,563,000 viewers, up 23% from last season’s week 8 ABC’s Saturday Night Football telecast (Ohio State at Rutgers). As a result of the television audience (6,478,000 viewers), ABC was the most-watched broadcast network in prime time for the fourth consecutive college football Saturday, while also seeing increases in total viewers for the fifth consecutive week. (ESPN)…

…Overall, ESPN/ABC combined to televise five of the six most-watched college football games in week 8, which included Wisconsin at Iowa (noon on ESPN) and Ole Miss at LSU (9 p.m. on ESPN). The Badgers-Hawkeyes game earned a total live audience of 3,326,000 viewers, up 98% from last year’s comparable window (Iowa State at Baylor). The Rebels-Tigers game (9 p.m. on ESPN) had a total live audience of 2,754,000 up 29% from comparable window (Washington at Stanford). (ESPN)…

NASCAR at Talladega on NBCSN 
NBCSN’s presentation of the NASCAR Sprint Cup elimination race from Talladega Superspeedway averaged 3.6 million viewers and a 2.2 HH rating. In comparison to last week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Kansas, which aired on NBC, Sunday’s race from Talladega was up 4% among average viewers. However, it was down 16% in viewership and 15% in ratings from last year (2.6, 4.2M) and down 28% and 27%, respectively from 2014(3.0, 4.8M), per SMW.

Nonetheless, Sunday’s NASCAR race from Talladega drove NBCSN to the No. 1 cable network during the race window of 2:15-5:45 p.m. ET, and ranked as the second most watched cable sports telecast of the day, behind NFL Network’s presentation of Giants vs. Rams from London. Live streaming of Sunday’s race generated 4.4 million live minutes, and 62,000 unique devices, up 40% and 29% compared to the same event last year. (NBC Sports Group)…


Ratings Odds and Ends

SportsMediaWatch: WNBA Finals Down on ESPN2

Sports Media Watch: Formula 1, NASCAR Trucks, NHL on NBCSN

SportsMediaWatch: NBA Preseason, NHRA, NASCAR Xfinity


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