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Ratings News and Notes

  • Mississippi State’s 66-64 upset overtime victory over UConn in the latter game of the “NCAA Women’s Div. I Basketball Tournament Final Four” doubleheader on ESPN2 from Mar. 31 ranks as the most-watched NCAA Women’s Final Four National Semifinal game since UConn/Notre Dame (3 million) from Apr. 7, 2013. According to ESPN, the game’s overnight rating peaked at an impressive 2.7 rating when the Bulldogs and Huskies were in overtime (midnight – 12:15 a.m.) and Mississippi State’s Morgan William hit the game-winning shot. Hartford, Conn. was the game’s No. 1 local market, pulling in a 16.6 rating. The rest of the top markets were, in order: Greensboro (4.8), Memphis (4.3), Knoxville (4.1), Birmingham (3.8), Portland (2.9), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (2.7), Oklahoma City (2.7), Charlotte (2.6) and Nashville (2.6).
  • ESPN experienced positive ratings for its two sporting events on the night of Sunday, Apr. 2. (Sources: ESPN [1], [2])
    • Tipping off at 6:11 p.m. ET that evening, the “NCAA Div. I Women’s Basketball National Championship” featuring South Carolina versus Mississippi State drew a total audience of 3.89 million viewers (TV + streaming) — a 3-year high for the Women’s National Championship. The game peaked at 5.34 million viewers as the South Carolina Gamecocks were closing in on their first women’s basketball national championship (8 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.). In addition, South Carolina-Mississippi State was the most-streamed women’s basketball finale ever, with a streaming average audience of 59,500 viewers and a total of 211,000 viewers watching 8,205,000 minutes.
    • Then, from 8:29 p.m.-12:13 a.m., the St. Louis Cardinals‘ 4-3 walkoff win versus their longtime rival and current defending World Champion Chicago Cubs to open the 2017 MLB regular season on ESPN and WatchESPN drew a combined 3.707 million viewers across both platforms, which makes it the most-watched MLB Opening Night game ever on the ESPN family of networks. In terms of TV-only viewers, Cubs-Cardinals (3.62 million) was the most-watched ESPN MLB season opener since Braves-Nationals (3.66 million) in 2008 and the most-watched MLB game overall on ESPN since Yankees-Red Sox from Apr. 10, 2011 (4.698 million).
  • The McDonald’s All-American Game, the annual basketball event that showcases the nation’s top high school players, averaged 670,000 viewers and 348,000 adults 18-49 for the Boys game on ESPN from Mar. 29 7-9 p.m. ET; +9 percent and +3 percent, respectively, from the year-ago game (616,000 viewers/337,000 adults 18-49) which had also taken place on a Wednesday night (Mar. 30, 2016) but at a later start time (9 p.m. ET). The Girls game (103,000 viewers/39,000 adults 18-49), which had aired on ESPNU and preceded the Boys game on the same Mar. 29 date, also delivered increases from last year: +34 percent in total viewers (vs. 77,000) and +50 percent in adults 18-49 (vs. 26,000).
  • With just five additional Sunday editions remaining, The Sports Reporters from Apr. 2 drew 481,000 viewers and 223,000 adults 18-49 on ESPN; -26 percent and -36 percent, respectively, from the year-ago ESPN telecast (652,000 viewers/348,000 adults 18-49 from Apr. 3, 2016)

espnlogo

ESPN Top 25 (and Select) Programs


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In total viewership for its entire week in Prime Time (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.), ESPN is up +110 percent (1,475,000 vs. 703,000) from one week earlier and up +21 percent (1,475,000 vs. 1,215,000) from the same week one year ago (March 28-April 3, 2016).

In total viewership for its entire week in Total Day (6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m.), ESPN is up +42 percent (683,000 vs. 481,000) from one week earlier and up +5 percent (683,000 vs. 648,000) from the same week one year ago (March 28-April 3, 2016).

ESPN’s daily programs viewership averages for the week:

  • “First Take” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31): 418,000 (246,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Outside the Lines: First Report” (ESPN, Mar. 29-31): 307,000 (179,000 adults 18-49)
  • “NFL Insiders” (ESPN, Mar. 29-30): 284,000 (154,000 adults 18-49)
  • “NFL Live” (ESPN, Mar. 29-30): 323,000 (181,000 adults 18-49)
  • “NBA: The Jump” (ESPN, Mar. 29-31): 322,000 (201,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsNation” (ESPN, Mar. 28-31): 381,000 (245,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Highly Questionable” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31): 453,000 (286,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Around the Horn” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31): 506,000 (285,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Pardon the Interruption” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31): 773,000 (387,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31 7 a.m.): 319,000 (189,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31 8 a.m.): 274,000 (169,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31 9 a.m.): 291,000 (178,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SC6 with Michael and Jemele” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31 6 p.m.): 457,000 (280,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN, Mar. 27 11 p.m.): 549,000 (256,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN, Mar. 27-30 midnight): 640,000 (385,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter at Night” (ESPN, Mar. 27-31 1 a.m.): 634,000 (376,000 adults 18-49)

ESPN2

ESPN2 Top 25 (and Select) Programs


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In total viewership for its entire week in Prime Time (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.), ESPN2 is up +34 percent (484,000 vs. 360,000) from one week earlier and up +3 percent (484,000 vs. 468,000) from the same week one year ago (March 28-April 3, 2016).

In total viewership for its entire week in Total Day (6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m.), ESPN2 is up +49 percent (249,000 vs. 167,000) from one week earlier and up +1 percent (249,000 vs. 246,000) from the same week one year ago (March 28-April 3, 2016).

ESPN2’s daily show viewership averages for the week:

  • “Mike & Mike in the Morning” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-31): 215,000 (111,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Dan Le Batard Show (live)” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-31): 89,000 (46,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Nacion ESPN” (ESPN2, Mar. 27 5 p.m.): 100.000 (67,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Baseball Tonight (late night)” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-30): 101,000 (52,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Jalen & Jacoby (late night)” (ESPN2, Mar. 29): 72,000 (49,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Best of Mike & Mike in the Morning” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-30): 72,000 (40,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Outside the Lines: First Report” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-28): 111,000 (45,000 adults 18-49)
  • “NFL Insiders” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-28): 163,000 (72,000 adults 18-49)
  • “NFL Live” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-28): 225,000 (112,000 adults 18-49)
  • “NBA: The Jump” (ESPN2, Mar. 27): 215,000 (118,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-31 10 a.m.): 127,000 (71,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-31 11 a.m.): 119,000 (63,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN2, Mar. 27-28 7 p.m.): 154,000 (87,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN2, Mar. 28-29 11 p.m.): 142,000 (63,000 adults 18-49)
  • “SportsCenter” (ESPN2, Mar. 31 midnight): 1,496,000 (546,000 adults 18-49)

ESPNU

ESPNU Top 25 (and Select) Programs


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In total viewership for its entire week in Prime Time (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.), ESPNU is down -30 percent (60,000 vs. 86,000) from one week earlier and down -23 percent (60,000 vs. 78,000) from the same week one year ago (March 28-April 3, 2016).

In total viewership for its entire week in Total Day (6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m.), ESPNU is down -21 percent (34,000 vs. 43,000) from one week earlier and down -15 percent (34,000 vs. 40,000) from the same week one year ago (March 28-April 3, 2016).

ESPNU’s daily show viewership averages for the week:

  • “Dan Le Batard Show” (ESPNU, Mar. 27-31): 26,000 (16,000 adults 18-49)
  • “Katz’s Korner” (ESPNU, Mar. 27 1-2 p.m.): 21,000 (4,000 adults 18-49)

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

About Douglas Pucci

Douglas Pucci is a contributor to Programming Insider and blogger at Son of the Bronx.