Ratings Roundup: NBA on Pace To Set Ratings, Viewership Records

TNT’s 27th season of NBA coverage is on track to be the network’s highest rated ever, averaging a 1.5 national rating and 2.36 million viewers through 34 games (Feb. 3). That is up 25% (from a 1.2) in ratings and 33% (1.77 million) in viewers over the same stage of the 2009-10 season. The previous high was set during the Michael Jordan-fueled 1995-96 season. Both TNT and ESPN are on track to turn in cable TV’s most-watched NBA seasons

…Ratings for the NHL All-Star Game on Versus were up 33% from 2009, earning a 1.2 average rating and 1.5 million viewers on Jan. 30. Averages for the skills competition on Jan. 29 were also up, a 1.0 rating and 1.18 million viewers vs. 0.7 and 870,000, respectively, in 2009. There was no All-Star Game in 2010 due to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In Canada, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada notched a record All-Star Game audience with 2.39 million viewers, up 56% from 2009 (1.53 million viewers).

Through the All-Star break, the Pittsburgh Penguins are drawing the biggest local TV audiences of any NHL team, with an average of 105,000 homes watching the team’s games on FSN Pittsburgh. Buffalo, Detroit, St. Louis, and Boston round out the top-five most-watched teams locally. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Florida, Atlanta, the New York Islanders, Anaheim, and Los Angeles bring up the rear in viewers of regional sports networks…

…Fox Soccer netted its most-watched telecast ever on Super Bowl Sunday with its coverage of Liverpool’s win at Chelsea. The match, which kicked off at 11 a.m. ET, averaged 418,000 viewers, the most for the network since it became Nielsen-measured in October 2008. The previous high was set on Super Bowl Sunday 2010, when a Chelsea-Arsenal matchup attracted 403,000 viewers. The match also logged a 0.74 household coverage-area rating, the second-best mark ever for the channel and just shy of the 0.77 network record (July 26, 2009: U.S.-Mexico CONCACAF Gold Cup Final).