Ratings Roundup: NBC Sees Big Viewership Gains for Kentucky Derby, NHL Regular Season

NBC Sports’ coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby drew 16.2 million viewers, making it the second most-watched Kentucky Derby since 1989 (18.5 million on ABC), only surpassed by the 2010 Derby won by Super Saver (16.5 million).. The viewership for the race is up 9% from last year’s Derby (14.8 million), and up 12% from the Derby in 2011 (14.5 million). Three of the last five Kentucky Derby races have recorded at least 16 million viewers. The household rating of 9.7/21 is the best since 2010 (9.8/23), and tied 2009 as the second highest-rated Derby since 1992 (10.3/30 on ABC). The 9.7/21 rating is up 8% from last year’s race (9.0/20) and up 14% from 2011 (8.5/19). The Derby once again proved to be very popular with female viewers with 52% of Derby viewers being women, making it the only annual sporting event that draws more female viewers than male viewers…

The pre-race on NBC (5-6:05 p.m. ET) drew 9.1 million viewers, an increase of 12% from last year (8.1 million) and is the second-best pre-race viewership dating back to 1992. Meanwhile, NBC Sports Network’s five-hour pre-race show (11 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET) drew 500,000 viewers, up 19% from last year (421,000)…

…In addition to its success on the track, NBC saw big increases on the ice, as more viewers watched the NHL regular season on NBC Sports Network this year than in any previous year since the channel began televising games in 2005-06. The 2013 NHL regular season on NBC Sports Network was also the most-watched season on cable in nearly two decades, and up 18% vs. last year. Excluding the Winter Classic, this season is expected to be the most-watched on the network since 2005-06, when NBC Sports regained rights to broadcast NHL games. Through 13 games, regular-season viewership on NBC is up 15%this year, excluding the Winter Classic, which was not played this season.

NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the 2013 NHL regular season averaged 392,000 viewers, up 18 percent from last year (332,000), and is the most-watched regular season on cable in 19 years (ESPN/ESPN2 1993/94 – 474,000).

Through 13 games and excluding the Winter Classic, viewership on NBC has averaged 1.5 million viewers, up 15% from 2011-12. When viewership figures are finalized on Thursday, this season is expected to be the most-watched on the network since 2005-06. The 2013 opening game telecast of the NHL regular season on NBC, featuring the Chicago Blackhawks-Los Angeles Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers (regionalized), averaged 2.8 million viewers, making it the most most-watched non-Winter Classic regular-season telecast on NBC since the network again began broadcasting the league in 2006, and the most-watched overall since three-game regional coverage on Fox in 1999 (4/18/99, 3.09 million)…

…A full schedule of UFC events in April powered FUEL TV to its highest-rated and most-watched month in network history. FUEL TV was up 75% in household (HH) rating (0.07 HH vs. 0.04 HH), 67% in total viewers (30,000 vs. 18,000) and 56% among Men 18-49 (14,000 vs. 9,000) this April compared to April 2012, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research. The live UFC® 159 Weigh-In Show on April 26 (4:00 PM ET) was the second highest-rated and fourth most-watched UFC weigh-in in network history, behind the record set for the UFC® 158 Weigh-in on March 15.  It averaged 109,000 total viewers and was up +167% in HH’s (0.24 HH vs. 0.09 HH), +160% in total viewers (109,000 total viewers vs. 42,000 total viewers) and +191% among Men 18-49 (64,000 vs. 22,000) compared to the 2012 Live UFC Weigh-In average…

…Coming off 2012 as the most-watched year in its 18-year history and first quarter 2013 as the network’s most-watched quarter ever, Golf Channel continues to build momentum in 2013 with its most-watched April ever. This is the fourth straight month in 2013 to reach the most-watched milestone. Over 19 million unique viewers tuned in to Golf Channel in April. For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 128,000 average viewers per minute were tuned in to Golf Channel in April, representing a 11% year-over-year increase compared to April 2012 (115,000), 26% vs. April 2011 (101,000) and 48% vs. April 2010 (86,000)…

…Comcast SportsNet Bay Area had a huge month of April, as over five million television households (5,025,043) watched the Giants, A’s, Warriors, Kings, Sharks, Earthquakes and SaberCats during the month. Over three million television households (3,192,628) watched Giants, A’s, Warriors and Sharks Pregame Game Live and Postgame Live shows on Comcast SportsNet. CSN Bay Area was the #1 Highest-Rated “Cable” network in primetime in April for Households and every advertising demo category. CSN Bay Area’s April 2013 primetime ratings were up +132% (compared to April 2012 primetime ratings). Giants’ April 2013 ratings were up +21% in Households (compared to April 2012) and are averaging approx. 119,405 Households, while the Warriors’ April 2013 regular season ratings (not including playoffs) were up +288% in Households (compared to April 2012). Warriors/Nuggets first round playoffs (Games 1-5) on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area are averaging a 4.41 Household rating (approx. 110,419 households), highest-rated game to date was Game 4 (April 28) when the Warriors posted a 5.80 Household rating (approx. 145,133 households);