Ratings Roundup: Telemundo Scores Big Audience for Confed Cup Group Stage; NBA Draft Second Best Ever on ESPN

Ratings roundup is a rundown of ratings news from the past week and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Telemundo kicks off the FIFA Confederations Cup with big ratings for the group stage, ESPN’s NBA Draft was the second most-watched ever on ESPN, Fox’s U.S. Open audience was up 10% over 2016, the College World Series is off to a historic start for ESPN and its Sunday Night Baseball viewership is up 13% over last year, and FS1’s BIG3 telecast drew a solid audience for the debut of the upstart 3-on-3 league. 

Telemundo Scores Big Numbers for FIFA Confederations Cup Group Stage
Telemundo Deportes’ FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 averaged 1 million total viewers and 519,000 adults 18-49, and outperforming Fox Networks by more than 3X (202% and 216% respectively,) according to Nielsen. Through the group stage, Telemundo and Universo’s broadcasts also surpassed Univision Networks’ coverage of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, which aired in similar time periods, by 85% among total viewers and 56% among adults 18-49.

Over the weekend, Mexico eliminated host Russia 2-1, securing a spot in the semifinals. The match, which aired on Saturday, June 24 at 11 a.m. ET, reached 3.8 million total viewers. The match window delivered an average of 2.2 million total viewers and nearly 1.3 million adults 18-49, outperforming Fox by 186% and 256% respectively. The broadcast also surpassed Univision networks’ coverage of game nine of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 by 180% among total viewers and 213% among adults 18-49.

Telemundo’s digital platforms broke record numbers through the group stage of the tournament, scoring its top six most streamed matches ever.  Mexico vs. New Zealand (June 21 at 2 p.m. ET) ranks at the top with 5.6 million streaming minutes, followed by Mexico vs. Russia with 4.9 million minutes consumed.

During the group stage, Telemundo Deportes’ digital platforms delivered a total of 27.4 million streaming minutes and generated more than 1.0 million social interactions. On June 24, Mexico vs. Russia ranked as the #1 most social event across all broadcast & cable, regardless of language. Telemundo’s digital coverage of the tournament led the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app to be among the trending searches in the IOS App store on both Wednesday, June 21 and Saturday, June 24.

Locally, the Mexico vs. Russia match was rated the #1 program among total viewers, regardless of language in top U.S. markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, Houston, Phoenix, Miami and Sacramento. Through the group stage, Telemundo stations ranked #1 among total viewers, regardless of language, in Los Angeles, Miami and Houston. Telemundo also ranked #1 among Spanish-language total viewers in New York, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Boston, Sacramento, Orlando, Tampa, Washington and Atlanta.


College World Series Sets Multi-Year Viewership Highs, Shatters Streaming Records
The 2017 College World Series achieved numerous multi-year total live audience viewership highs, while simultaneously shattering streaming records over the course of the 10-day (June 17-27), 16-game event. The two-game CWS Finals (June 26-27)  which saw the Florida Gators defeat the LSU Tigers 2-0 in a best-of-three series averaged a total live audience of 1,945,000 viewers, the second-most watched sweep in Finals history (dating back 2003) and the most-watched Finals of any kind since 2014. The viewership of nearly 2 million people is up 72% from the 2016 College World Series Finals, which went to a decisive third game. The audience is also up 32% from the last Finals sweep, which occurred in 2013.

The CWS Finals audience surpassed more than two million viewers for Game Two, as the contest averaged a total live audience of 2,067,000 viewers, the most-watched second game in the best-of-three format in five years (2012). The TV-only audience peaked at 2,620,000 viewers (10:45 p.m. – 11 p.m.) as Florida prevented LSU from tying the game in the eighth inning with a bang-bang play at the plate (see picture).

Game One the best-of-three College World Series Finals earned a total live audience of 1,826,000 viewers, the best viewership for a Finals opener since 2011. The TV-only audience peaked at 2,349,000 viewers (10:30 p.m. – 10:45 p.m. ET) in the bottom of the ninth inning as Florida closed out its 4-3 victory.

The 16 games of the College World Series averaged a total live audience of 1,120,000 viewers. The viewership is the event’s highest since 2014 and up 56% from last year’s tournament.

All 16 games of the 2017 College World Series earned a higher total live audience than the same corresponding game from the 2016 College World Series. Among the 14 early round games, Florida vs. TCU (June 24) had the highest total live audience, with 1,359,000 viewers, the most-watched CWS non-Finals game since 2014 (41 games).

Buoyed by LSU’s success, the New Orleans market was by far the highest-rated market throughout both the College World Series Finals (19.3 average) and the entire event (8.9 rating ).  New Orleans delivered a 20.1 rating for CWS Finals Game Two, the market’s second best rating ever for a CWS game, trailing only the decisive CWS Finals Game Three in 2009 (LSU vs. Texas). Including both CWS Finals and early round games, six of the New Orleans’ 10 highest-rated CWS games occurred this year (Records date back to 2002)Additionally, four of the five LSU early round games this year rated better than every single early round game of 2009 CWS, the last time the Tigers advanced to the CWS Finals.

Across the 16 games, the College World Series was the most-streamed in all three major metrics: average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes streamed. Each metric was up 48%, 62% and 48%, respectively, year over year. The two-game College World Series Finals was, on average, the most-streamed in the three major metrics: Highest AMA, uniques and total minutes for the Finals.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Total Live Audience Up 13%
Through the June 18 edition of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell, the total live audience (television plus streaming) for the franchise is up 13 percent compared to the same period last year. Sunday Night Baseball is averaging a total live audience of 1,956,000 viewers, up from 1,737,000 viewers in 2016.

On television, Sunday Night Baseball is averaging 1,918,000 viewers (P2+), plus an average minute streaming audience of 38,000 viewers. In addition, Sunday Night Baseball is averaging a 1.2 U.S. household rating, up nine percent from a 1.1 household rating in 2016.

ESPN’s NBA Draft Ratings Up 15%
ESPN’s coverage of the 2017 NBA Draft averaged 3,555,000 total viewers on TV and streaming, making it the second-most watched Draft on ESPN. Viewership was up 15% from 2016.

On the streaming side, the NBA Draft drew an average minute streaming audience of 135,200 viewers, up 55 percent from 2016, and 1,153,500 unique viewers, up 107 percent from last year. ESPN delivered 39,215,000 total minutes streamed for the NBA Draft.

The NBA Draft on ESPN generated a 5.3 metered market rating in the Louisville market, making it the top local market. The rest of the top 10 markets include: Charlotte (4.7); Indianapolis (4.4); Norfolk (4.0); Oklahoma City (3.9); Raleigh-Durham (3.8); Los Angeles (3.8); Las Vegas (3.8); Richmond (3.7); San Antonio (3.6).

Fox’s U.S. Open Audience Up 10% Over 2016
The Final numbers are in for Fox Sports’ U.S. Open coverage. Across all four rounds, FOX Sports’ complete U.S. Open presentation averaged 2.686 million viewers across coverage on the FOX broadcast network and FS1, a 10% increase over last year’s average of 2.434 million viewers. Sunday’s final round coverage averaged 5.1 million viewers and peaked at 8.3 million viewers from 7:45-8:00 PM ET on FOX, as Brooks Koepka established a commanding lead in the final holes. The concluding round of the U.S. Open powered FOX to an easy win across all networks as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the weekend, and the 3.1/9 HH rating/share ranks as the FOX broadcast network’s highest-rated event for the summer season to-date.

Digitally, FOX Sports’ live stream of the U.S. Open on FOX Sports GO accounted for 48.7 million minutes streamed across the four rounds of the championship, with an average minute audience of 25,210, a +77% increase over last year (vs. 14,235). In addition, Sunday’s final round is the highest-performing golf event in FOX Sports GO history, notching 18.2 million minutes streamed and an average minute audience of 30,321, a +135% increase over last year (vs. 12,879).

The 117th U.S. Open Championship was contested at Erin Hills, just outside Milwaukee, and the local market led the way with a 10.3/26 for the championship’s final round. The 2017 champion Koepka’s home market of West Palm Beach followed next with a 5.7/12. The top five markets were rounded out by Dayton (5.5/11), Fort Myers (5.4/11) and Oklahoma City (5.3/11), home to Rickie Fowler, who led following the first round and remained in contention for his first major win throughout the weekend.

FS1’s BIG3 Debut Nets Solid Audience 
Monday night’s FS1 debut of BIG3, a professional 3-on-3 basketball league co-founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, attracted 398,000 viewers on FS1, placing it among the channel’s top 10 all-time basketball telecasts. Monday’s BIG3 telecast drew 250,000 viewers in the Adults 18-49 demographic, FS1’s second most-watched basketball game in the demo, with a median age of 38.4. The BIG3’s FS1 debut posted huge gains for the channel year-over-year, resulting in a +310% increase in average Monday night viewership from 8:00-11:00 PM ET from July 2016 (vs. 97,000), and a massive +594% increase in the demo during that time period (vs. 36,000). Online, BIG3 earned an average minute audience of 5,013 on FOX Sports GO.


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