Ratings News and Notes

Despite airing in the afternoon and at a rain-soaked Orlando, Fla. on Sunday, Jan. 28, the 2018 Pro Bowl’s average audience of 8.6 million viewers across ABC and ESPN is a 15 percent increase from the 7.5 million viewers in 2017. It is the most-viewed Pro Bowl game in the last three years. The top 10 metered markets: New Orleans (15.2), Kansas City (10.3), Richmond-Petersburg (9.2), Seattle (8.8), Philadelphia (8.4), Nashville (8.4), Norfolk (8.3), Charlotte (8.1), Atlanta (8.1), Jacksonville (8.0) and Baltimore (8.0). In addition, ESPN’s original airing of Pro Bowl Skills Showdown on Thursday, Jan. 25 averaged 1,171,000 viewers, up 18 percent from the initial airing of the Skills Challenge in 2017 (991,000 viewers) (Source: ESPN)

For Jan. 15-28, live coverage of tennis’ “2018 Australian Open” on ESPN and ESPN2 (and streaming) in late night averaged 271,000 viewers — down 32 percent from last year (392,000) that featured high-profile finals where the Williams sisters competed in the women’s and Roger Federer had battled Rafael Nadal on the men’s side; down 28 percent from two years ago (376,000). In years prior, ratings did not yet include streaming data.

The 25th anniversary live edition of USA Network’s WWE RAW from Jan. 22 averaged 4.5 million viewers for 8-11:17 p.m. This is the most-watched 3-hour+ WWE Raw telecast since the day after WrestleMania XXXI on 3/30/15 (5.36 million).

For HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 27, the Lucas Matthysse-Tewa Kiram match averaged 719,000 viewers and peaking at 769,000 viewers. The opening bout of WBA lightweight champ Jorge Linares’ win against Mercito Gesta, attracted a peak audience of 731,000 viewers and averaged 659,000. Both matches drew similarly comparable viewer figures from HBO’s December 2017 boxing telecast. (Source: Boxing Scene)

Cable Studio Show Ratings Recap

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Top Tens and More for Each Sports Network

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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.