Feb 15, 2018; Alpensia, South Korea; Denis Kornilov (OAR) jumps in the men's large hill individual training run during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Ratings News and Notes

NBCSN Reaping Ratings Benefits from Olympic Coverage
NBCSN delivered its best-ever afternoon rating and viewership for the 2-5 p.m. ET telecast on Saturday, Feb. 10 (the first Saturday of the 2018 Winter Olympics), which featured women’s biathlon, mixed doubles curling, and long track speed skating. For the three-hour show, NBCSN averaged 4.5 million viewers and a 2.56 household rating.
(Source: NBC Sports)

On the following evening (Sunday Feb. 11), NBCSN averaged 3.0 million primetime viewers – the network’s best viewership in the 7-11 p.m. window since 2015 (3.1 million for the NASCAR Cup Series Race in Bristol on August 22, 2015). Coverage featured American Jamie Anderson winning gold in the women’s slopestyle, plus mixed doubles curling and the men’s biathlon. (Source: NBC Sports)

One-Year High for Premier League on NBC
The Manchester City-Leicester City match on Saturday, Feb. 10 in the early afternoon (Eastern time zone) averaged 1.15 million viewers — NBC’s largest Premier League audience since the 1.16 million for Manchester United-Tottenham, Jan. 21, 2017.
(Source: NBC Sports)

Five-Year High for ABC’s NBA Sunday Showcase
Despite a Cleveland Cavaliers’ dominant 121-99 win over Eastern Conference rival Boston Celtics that aired opposite the first Sunday afternoon coverage of the Winter Olympics on NBC’s networks, it was ABC’s most-watched “NBA Sunday Showcase” broadcast in five years (since Feb. 10, 2013), according to Nielsen.

The broadcast averaged 4.635 million viewers, up 62 percent from 2.867 million viewers for last year’s comparable game between San Antonio and New York. It peaked with 5.364 million viewers from 5:15-5:30 p.m. ET.

The Cavaliers had made several changes to its roster at the trade deadline from a few days prior. This game marked the team debuts of Jordan Clarkson, George Hill, Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr.

Cleveland’s ABC affiliate WEWS received an impressive 20.5 rating for this telecast; Columbus, Ohio (8.1) also generated a good rating.

Overall, ABC’s “NBA Sunday Showcase” is averaging 3.57 million viewers to-date this season, up 32 percent from 2.71 million of the comparable year-ago period.

(Source: ABC)

Despite an inconsistent season in game play, the Cavaliers on Fox Sports Ohio are averaging an 8.21 local rating in the Cleveland-Akron market, up 15 percent from the same point in 2016-17. (Source: Crain’s Cleveland Business)

No Ratings ‘Blues’ for NHL Hockey in St. Louis
Although the St. Louis Blues lost at home to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Sunday, Feb. 11, the NHL game telecast on NBC drew a season-best 8.3 local rating in the St. Louis market (on local NBC affiliate KSDK Channel 5).

Across 53 game telecasts, the St. Louis Blues are averaging a 4.1 market rating on Fox Sports Midwest so far this season — about on-par from last season’s 4.2. The Blues are having their best ratings month in February with a 4.4.

If the 4.1 average holds up, it would rank as the Blues’ third highest-rated season ever.

(Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

The Post-Super Bowl Bounce
On Monday, February 5 – the day after Super Bowl LII, several daily sports studio shows on cable experienced ratings increases from their recent viewership averages but only some actually gained year-to-year. The winner in the year-to-year percentage gains was FS1 with their three daytime programs: “Undisputed” (267,000 viewers, up 57 percent from 170,000 viewers on Feb. 6, 2017), “The Herd” (201,000 viewers, up 45 percent from 139,000 viewers) and “Speak For Yourself” (132,000 viewers, up 20 percent from 110,000 viewers).

Cable morning shows ESPN’s “First Take” (842,000 viewers, up 17 percent from 721,000 viewers) and NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” (173,000 viewers, up 15 percent from 150,000 viewers) also saw yearly gains on the day after the Super Bowl.

The most-watched cable sports studio show, ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption“, posted 1.042 million viewers (down 8 percent from 1.097 million viewers).

Other notable programs:

ESPN’s “SportsCenter (6 p.m.)” (675,000 viewers, down 8 percent from 733,000 viewers)

ESPN’s “Around the Horn” (637,000 viewers, down 8 percent from 694,000 viewers)

ESPN’s “Highly Questionable” (536,000 viewers, down 14 percent from 625,000 viewers)

ESPN’s “SportsNation” (394,000 viewers, down 18 percent from 479,000 viewers)

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” (526,000 viewers, up 12 percent from 471,000 viewers)

ESPN2’s “Golic & Wingo” (239,000 viewers, down 22 percent from 308,000 viewers by predecessor show “Mike & Mike”)

About Douglas Pucci

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