Ratings Roundup: NBA Viewership Up Across the Board, NFL Divisional Playoffs Down Slightly YoY

Ratings roundup is a rundown of recent rating news and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, NBA viewership is up across the board after a big MLK Day; YES sees its most most-viewed Nets telecast in six years; CBS, Fox, and NBC see a slight drop Year over year for their NFL Divisional Playoff games; and NBCSN delivers its most-watched NHL regular season game on record while NESN delivers its best Bruins opener since 2013.

NBA Viewership Across TNT, ESPN AND ABC UP 34%

NBA viewership across TNT, ESPN and ABC through MLK Day (27 games) is up 34% vs. the comparable number of games during the 2019-20 season (2.0 million average viewers vs. 1.49 million average viewers), according to Nielsen Media Research. (NBA)

NBA on TNT’s MLK Day Primetime Doubleheader Viewership Up 31%

TNT’s MLK Day primetime doubleheader coverage – highlighted by the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers – averaged 2.1 million viewers for an increase of 31% vs. last year’s comparable MLK Day coverage, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. The doubleheader increase was fueled by Warriors/Lakers at 10 p.m. ET, which netted an 84% increase based on an average of 2.2 million viewers vs. last year’s same telecast window. (WarnerMedia)

Nets-Cavs Is YES’ Most-Viewed Nets Telecast in Six Years

YES’ telecast of last evening’s Nets-Cavs game averaged 159,000 Total Viewers in the New York DMA, the network’s most-viewed Nets telecast in six years (179,000 average Total Viewers for its December 8, 2014 game, also against the Cavs).  Last evening’s telecast peaked at 242,000 viewers during the 9:15 to 9:30 pm ET quarter-hour. Through last night’s game, YES’ average viewership is up 89% vs. last season’s season average (85,000 vs. 45,000 average Total Viewers per game). (Twitter)

In addition, YES’ telecast of the Jan. 16 Magic-Nets game averaged 143,000 viewers in the New York DMA, nearly double YES’ season-to-date average of 72,000 viewers (despite going up against NFL playoff action and the Rangers-Islanders game). (Twitter)

Buccaneers-Saints on FOX Ranks #1 This Season with More Than 36 Million Viewers

On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – New Orleans Saints game drew 36,416,201 viewers across Fox, Fos Deportes, Fox Sports streaming platforsm, NFL Digital, and Verizon Media MObile properties on Sunday. It was the most watched telecast of any kind on any networks since Super Bowl LIV and the most watched NFL teelcast of th eseason. It was also the most streamed NFL Playoff game in Fox Sports history with 1.3 million AMA and the most watched NFL telecast of the day on Spanish-language TV on Fox Deportes.

On Saturday, the L.A. Rams – Green Bay Pakcers game drew 27,186,576 viewers across all platforsm. It was the most-watched telecast of the day and Fox Deportes drew the most-watched NFL telecast of the day on Spanish-language TV. (Fox Sports)

Ravens-Bills AFC Divisional Playoff Is NBC’s Most-Watched Saturday Primetime Game in Four Years

NBC’s broadcast of the Buffalo Bills’ 17-3 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoff last weekend delivered the network’s largest Saturday primetime audience in four years, and the largest Saturday night audience on any network since last January. The Ravens-Bills game averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 27.1 million viewers across NBC TV, Universo, NBC Sports Digital and NFL Digital platforms, and Verizon Media mobile properties, according to official data released today by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. (NBC Sports)

Chiefs-Brown Down 3% YoY; Divisional Weekend Is Down 7% Overall

The earlier game Sunday (Kansas City Chiefs-Cleveland Browns) on CBS delivered 34.33 million viewers, a slight 3 percent decline from the same window a year ago.

Overall, the four games on Jan. 16 and 17 (two on Fox and one each on CBS and NBC) averaged 30.63 million viewers. That’s down about 7 percent vs. the 32.84 million average for divisional playoff games in 2020. (THR)

Penguins-Flyers Opening Night Matchup is NBCSN’s Most-Watched NHL Regular Season Game on Record

The first game of the 2020-21 NHL season between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 972,000 viewers last night on NBCSN, making it the network’s most-watched regular-season game on record. The Opening Night tripleheader on NBCSN, which also included Chicago at Tampa Bay and St. Louis at Colorado, averaged a TAD of 774,000 viewers, making it the network’s most-watched multi-game Opening Night on record and up 29% from last year’s doubleheader (600,000). (NBC Sports)

Bruins Opener on NESN Touts Highest Season-Debut Rating Since 2013

The 2020-21 Boston Bruins season kicked off last night with a win against the New Jersey Devils and a 5.98 household (HH) rating in the Boston DMA, NESN announced today. The rating for the shootout win against the Devils is the highest HH rating for a season opener since 2013. The game also marks the highest HH rating for a regular season Bruins matchup since March 29, 2018. (NESN)


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