Networks love to play games with various ways to slice and re-slice ratings, but the one FS1 pulled for a promo they ran during the seventh inning of Wednesday’s Dodgers-Cubs clash goes well beyond the usual. FS1 ran a promo saying “Thank You For Making FS1 America’s #1 Sports Network”:
The details on just how they’re getting to that conclusion come 11 seconds in. As seen in the screencap at top, this is based on Nielsen all-day live plus SD (same day) viewing for Oct. 10 to Oct. 16. Hmm…that just happens to be a week when FS1 had four National League Division Series games (Games 3 and 4 of Giants-Cubs and Games 4 and 5 of Dodgers-Nationals) and two National League Championship Series games (Games 1 and 2).
Six highly-viewed postseason baseball games is not exactly an average week, especially when you consider that ESPN doesn’t have many of their usual midweek evening games during that span (it’s after the baseball season and before the basketball season). But sure, FS1 was the most-watched sports network for that single week based on all-day averages. That doesn’t mean they’ve passed or come even close to ESPN’s overall numbers, though, and it’s notable that even Fox has largely changed their conversation from “ESPN alternative” to “FOX isn’t looking to compare FS1 to ESPN.”
Sure, this is a nice data point for Fox, and if they want to try and tweak the Worldwide Leader over beating them in a single week, more power to them. It’s not a bad promo, either; it showcases some of their other programming, and might get people tuning in for the baseball game to check out the channel at other points. The truth is, though, ESPN could probably run a similar promo 49 or 50 weeks out of the year. FS1 is only “America’s #1 Sports Network” under a very particular set of ratings criteria for a very specific point in time.
[Joe Lucia on Clippit]