Ratings Roundup: NFL Combine Is Top Prospect with Viewers

As a potential lockout looms on the very near horizon, the American public continues to eat up NFL programming – even when there are no games to be played. A total of 6.6 million viewers watched the NFL Scouting Combine on NFL Network this year, a 27% increase over the 5.2 million viewers last year. On Sunday, Feb. 27, when the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers were working out, an average of more than 400,000 people were watching at any given time.

Despite the prolonged absence of Tiger Woods atop leader boards at is events, the PGA Tour has reported significant ratings gains during the early stretch of the 2011 season. The Tour’s average TV ratings are up 36% over last season and 19% vs. 2009. In addition, PGA Tour research indicates viewers are watching 29% longer.

NBA TV’s coverage of the Portland Trail Blazers win over the Miami Heat Tuesday, on Tuesday netted 681,000 total viewers, the most total viewers of any NBA TV regular season game to date. In addition, it posted the highest deliveries of the day on NBA TV among homes, total viewers and Men 18-34, delivering 527,000 homes, 681,000 total viewers, and 133,000 Men 18-34. Through the first 19 Fan Night games (when fans vote on the game that they want to see) of the season, the network is averaging 402,000 total viewers and 307,000 households.

In other Heat-related news, TNT earned a 3.6 overnight rating for Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night, up 300% from last year’s comparable game (CHI/ORL: 0.9), which aired in a later timeslot. This marks the third-highest overnight of the season for an NBA game on cable, surpassed only by Heat/Celtics on Opening Night (5.6) and Heat/Cavaliers on December 2 (5.0).