Ratings Roundup: Despite Cablevision Blackout, Fox Posts Solid Numbers on NFL Sunday

Despite the ongoing Cablevision-News Corp. tiff that blacked out the game to all New York-area Cablevision subscribers, Fox’s coverage of the Minnesota Vikings-Dallas Cowboys Sunday-afternoon game drew a 17.4 overnight rating, up 17% from last year’s Week 6 national window (Titans-Patriots, 14.9, CBS). It was the second-highest rating of the season (after the Vikings-Saints opener, 17.7, NBC) and the highest for the NFL national window on any network since Week 13 last year (Cowboys-Giants, 18.9, Fox)…

…CBS’s coverage of the New England Patriots’ heart-pounding 23-20 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday notched a 14.3/29 household rating/share, tied with Week 16 of the 2008 season for CBS’s highest-rated singleheader regular-season game since 1998, when CBS re-acquired the NFL. The rating was 8% higher than NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecast featuring the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins, which logged a 13.2/20…

…Though failing to post the highest NFL rating of the weekend, SNF was up 10% over the comparable week last year (Bears-Falcons, 12.0) and more than doubled Game 2 of the NLCS on Fox (a 6-1 Phillies win over the Giants), which posted a 6.5 overnight rating. NBC’s 13.2 overnight is the highest for a primetime NFL telecast opposite the LCS since October 1997, when a Cowboys-Redskins game put up a 16.4 against Game 5 of the Orioles-Indians ALCS on Fox (11.1)…

…The NFL also handily beat playoff baseball on Monday night as ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans outrated Game 3 of the Yankees-Rangers ALCS 7.2 to 6.5, according to overnights…

Viewership for the NHL’s opening week was up across the board, led by the 730,000 viewers that tuned in for Versus’s Penguins-Flyers opening-night game. The Penguins-Flyers faceoff was the most-watched season opener on U.S. cable in eight years and the most-watched NHL regular-season cable telecast in six years. The game also was Versus’s most-watched regular-season game ever (Penguins-Red Wings, March 2010, 622,000 viewers). The local RSN and national TV ratings through Oct. 10 combined were up 5% from last year’s opening weekend with 13.9 million gross viewers across North America (gross viewing up 16% in the U.S. and 2% in Canada)…

…ESPN recorded its most-watched show for the fiscal year and the highest-rated in 20 years, averaging 858,000 households on a 24-hour basis, breaking the record set last year (809,000) with a 6% increase. The network’s total-day rating of 0.9 was the highest in 20 years, equaling its highest ever, set in 1990…

…Despite a decline in ratings, Saturday’s NASCAR Bank of America 500 posted the biggest ratings and audience for any Chase for the Cup outing this year. ABC drew a 3.2 final rating and 5.345 million viewers to the Bank of America 500 on Saturday night, down 9% in ratings and 3% in viewership from last year (3.5, 5.485 million). However, ABC’s coverage easily bested the Pepsi Max 400 (2.5, 4.042 million viewers), the highest-rated Chase for the Cup race thus far.