Ratings Roundup: NFL Week 10 Down Slightly Across All Networks; NBC Doubles Breeders Cup Audience

Compiled by Jason Dachman, Managing Editor, SVG

ESPN’s less-than-appealing Chiefs/Steelers “Monday Night Football” delivered an 8.2 US rating and 12.824 million viewers, down 6% in ratings and 10% in viewership from Vikings/Packers last year (8.7, 14.188M). Nonetheless, the telecast won the night among all broadcast and cable programming. Through the first 10 weeks of the NFL season (11 games), MNF is averaging an 8.4 rating and and 13.091 million viewers, down slightly from the same point last season.

The Sunday Night Football matchup between the Texans and Bears on on NBC drew 20.9 million viewers and a 12.4/19 rating/share, even in viewership and down 4% in rating from last year (12.9, 20.918 million for Patriots-Jets). NBC’s 10-week (11 games) household rating of 12.8/20 and 21.2 million viewers is on pace with 2011 (12.9/20, 21.3 million) and 2010 (12.8/21, 21.3 million), and are the first three primetime NFL seasons to average more than 21 million through the first 10 weeks of the season since 1994-1996 on ABC.

The Week 10 Colts-Jaguars “Thursday Night Football” game drew a 3.3 U.S. rating and 5.194 million viewers on NFL Network last week, flat in ratings and down 2% in viewership from Raiders/Chargers last year (3.3, 5.277M). Prior to this year, the Thursday night NFL slate began in Week 10 of the season, making it the first TNF telecast of the year with comparable numbers. Colts/Jaguars ranks as the third-lowest rated and third-least viewed NFL telecast of the season on any network, ahead of only the previous two Thursday night games.

Meanwhile, overnights for CBS and Fox’s Sunday NFL coverage were down slightly from last year. The CBS single-header window on Sunday afternoon drew a 10.5 overnight rating — down 12% from last year (11.9), but still the second highest single-header of the season through five telecasts. Fox’s Cowboys-Eagles coverage in the national window earned a 16.2 rating, down 6% from a 17.2 rating for Giants-49ers last year. That is Fox’s third best national window overnight of the season.

Breeders Cup
NBC’s hour-long Breeders’ Cup Classic telecast on Nov. 3, earned a 2.0 national rating and 3.1 million viewers. The ratings and viewership nearly doubled from last year’s presentation of the Classic on ESPN, which drew a 1.0 rating and 1.6 million viewers. However, Zenyatta’s final race in 2010 at Churchill Downs drew 2.5 and 4.1 million viewers on ESPN.

NBC Sports Network’s coverage earlier in the day averaged 358,000 viewers throughout the day, down significantly from an average of 1.4 million viewers in 2011 on the more widely distributed ESPN. NBC Sports Net’s Friday coverage averaged 178,000 viewers, down from an average of 334,000 viewers a year ago on ESPN2.

College Football
Texas A&M’s upset of No. 1-ranked Alabama on CBS Saturday earned an average overnight household rating/share of 6.6/14, up 136% from last season’s 2.8/6 (No. 20 Auburn- No. 15 Georgia). The game was the second highest-rated on any network-to-date in the metered markets for a college football game in the 2012 season, trailing only CBS’s primetime game between No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 5 LSU (7.0/13; 11/3/12).

ABC’s Notre Dame-Boston College telecast Saturday night drew a 3.8 overnight rating — down 36% from Oregon/Stanford last year (5.9). The 3.8 overnight is the third-highest of the season for “Saturday Night Football,” trailing only Michigan/Alabama in week one (4.7) and Notre Dame/Oklahoma in week seven (5.9). Click here for more on ABC’s earlier games Saturday.

Saturday’s Kansas State/TCU college football game drew a 1.9 overnight rating on FOX, down 46% from Southern Cal/Oregon the previous week (3.5), but up 12% from Kansas State/West Virginia three weeks ago (1.7). Click here for more on Fox’s earlier Saturday games.

ESPN’s Northwestern/Michigan college football game drew a 1.9 overnight rating on ESPN Saturday, down 50% from Nebraska/Penn State in the same window last year (3.8), when the Jerry Sandusky scandal had just hit. Click here for more on ESPN’s earlier Saturday games.

NBA
NBA TV’s telecast featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Nov. 13, averaged 739,000 total viewers to become the network’s most-viewed NBA Fan Night ever. The game also generated NBA TV’s second highest-rated regular season game (trailing only this year’s record-setting opening night telecast between the Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, the network’s most-viewed telecast ever) and its third most-viewed regular season telecast. This year’s Lakers/Trail Blazers telecast ranks first overall with an average of 868,000 total viewers and last year’s Los Angeles Clippers/Lakers telecast averaged 756,000 total viewers.