Ratings Roundup: World Series Up Over Last Year Through Two Games; Broncos-Colts Scores Best SNF Showing of Season for NBC

The Boston Red Sox return to the World Series has provided solid boost over last year for Fox thus far, as Game 1 scored an 8.6/14 national household rating/share and averaged 14.4 million viewers. That is up 13% in rating and 18% in viewership over last year’s 7.6/12 (12.2 million viewers). Ratings peaked at a 9.6/15 with 16.3 million viewers at 9:30 PM ET, as the Red Sox built an insurmountable lead. Boston led all markets with a 39.7/61, the highest mark for a Red Sox game since Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS, followed by St. Louis’ 36.0/54.

According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, the game drew over 793,000 tweets (up +6% from 2012 World Series Game 1) from more than 360,000 unique authors (up 12%) and was the No. 1 social telecast of the night in all categories.

Although, Wednesday’s Game 1 was the most-viewed World Series opener in three years, it also ranked as the third-lowest rated and fourth-least viewed Game 1 of all time – continuing a downward trend for the World Series in recent year.

Early returns for Game 2 show a similar fate, as the 9.5 overnight rating on FOX Thursday night was up 8% from Tigers/Giants Game 2 last year (8.8), but down 5% from Rangers/Cardinals Game 2 in 2011 (10.0) and makrs the third-lowest overnight ever for Game 2 of the World Series, ahead of only last year and Phillies/Rays in 2008 (9.2)…

…As for the six-game ALCS Fox averaged a 4.9/9 (7.7 million viewers), up 23% over last year’s 4.0/7 (6.5 million viewers) for the seven-game NLCS on FOX and FOX’s best LCS average since 2010’s NLCS 5.5/10 (9.1 million viewers). When comparing the averages through six games of each series, the 2013 ALCS on FOX strongly out-rated the 2012 NLCS by +26% in household rating (4.9 vs. 3.9).

Boston dramatic clinching Game 6 victory delivered a 5.5/10 national household rating (9.0 million viewers), up 20% over last year’s 4.6/7 (7.6 million viewers) for Game 6 of the NLCS on FOX and out-rated last year’s decisive NLCS Game 7 by +12% (5.5/10 vs. 4.9/7). Saturday night’s series clincher marks FOX’s best rating for an LCS game since 2010’s NLCS Game 6 (6.7/12 – 11.6 million). The telecast peaked with a 6.5/12 (10.7 million viewers) from 11:00 -11:30 PM, as Shane Victorino’s grand slam propelled the Red Sox to the American League pennant. Boston led all markets with a 31.9/55.  Detroit delivered a 27.5/46…

…TBS scored impressive numbers of its own for the NLCS, as the six-game Cardinal-Dodgers series averaged a 3.2 U.S. HH rating, up 10% compared with a 2.9 U.S. HH rating for the same number of telecasts during the 2011 NLCS (Cardinals-Brewers).  The corresponding average of five million total viewers for this year’s six-game series is an increase of 9% over an average of 4.6 million total viewers in 2011. Throughout the NLCS series, TBS averaged 5,535,000 total viewers for four primetime telecasts, a 14% improvement over an average of 4,872,000 total viewers for five primetime telecasts in 2011.

Friday night’s decisive NLCS Game 6 – a lopsided 9-0 win by the Cardinals – averaged a 3.7 U.S. HH rating and 6.1 million total viewers, both up 3% over a 3.6 U.S. HH rating and 5.9 million total viewers for Game 6 of the 2011 NLCS. The telecast peaked with a 4.8 U.S. HH rating from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET. Game 6 earned a 34.4 HH rating in St. Louis, the highest rating among all markets during the 2013 MLB Postseason, and a 10.3 HH rating in Los Angeles.

Overall, the 2013 MLB Postseason on TBS averaged 4,160,000 total viewers for 24 game telecasts, up 2% compared with an average of 4,079,000 total viewers for the same number of telecasts in 2012.  The network equaled last year’s 2.7 U.S. HH rating…

…Not surprisingly the NFL is off to a massive ratings start, as 10 NFL game telecasts this season have been watched by 25 million viewers – up 400 percent from this point last year (two) and surpassing the total for the full 2012 season (eight)…

…NBC’s Sunday Night Football is leading the way, averaging 22.7 million viewers, which marks the best seven-week start for an NFL primetime package in 17 years (24.8 million in 1996 for Monday Night Football) and up 5% from last year (21.6 million average). In addition, SNF tops primetime TV in season-to-date live plus same day household rating (13.4 – best in 15 years for NFL primetime package after seven weeks) and Adults 18-49 rating (8.8 – best in 16 years).

Sunday’s Colts-Broncos game featuring Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis averaged 26.9 million viewers (15.9 HH rating), ranking as the most-watched October NFL primetime telecast in 21 years (33.0 million viewers for Cowboys-Eagles on ABC, 10/5/92) and the most-watched October primetime telecast of any kind since 2005. Viewership for the Colts’ 39-33 victory was up 54 percent from last year’s Week 7 game (17.5 million for Steelers-Bengals) and is the fourth-highest Sunday viewership in the eight-year history of NBC’s primetime package (not including “NFL Kickoff” games)…

…This week’s Monday Night Football telecast (Giants-Vikings) earned a 8.4 US rating and 13,243,000 viewers, up 27% in ratings and 24% in viewership from Lions/Bears last year (6.6, 10.7M). Coverage peaked from 9:45-10 p.m. with a 9.7 US rating. In Minneapolis, the game delivered a 12.3 rating on ESPN and a 38.0 on WCCO-CBS, for a combined 50.3 rating in the market. In New York, the game delivered a 10.1 rating on ESPN and a 5.6 on WPIX-CW, for a combined 15.7 rating in the market. Through seven weeks (eight games), ESPN’s MNF is averaging an 8.5 US rating, 9,802,000 households and 13,347,000 viewers in 2013, virtually flat versus the same period in 2012…

…As for Sunday afternoon coverage, Fox’s Week 7 NFL singleheader window, featuring Cowboys/Eagles, earned a 10.8 final rating and 18.2 million viewers on FOX — down 9% in ratings and 4% in viewership from coverage featuring Washington/Giants last year (11.8, 18.9M). (SportsMediaWatch)…

Meanwhile, CBS’s Week 7 NFL national window, featuring Ravens/Steelers, earned a 14.8 final rating and 25.3 million viewers on CBS Sunday — up 6% in ratings and 10% in viewership from coverage featuring Jets/Patriots last year (14.0, 23.0M). The telecast ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed NFL national window of the season. Earlier in the day, regional action on CBS drew an 8.7 rating and 13.9 million viewers — up 68% in ratings and 72% in viewership from last year (5.2, 8.1M). (SportsMediaWatch)…

…The SEC dominated the college football ratings landscape last weekend, as Auburn’s upset win over Texas A&M was the highest rating game of the weekend with a 4.2 final rating and 6.7 million viewers on CBS Saturday afternoon, up 36% in ratings and 37% in viewership from Florida/South Carolina last year (3.1, 4.9M). ABC’ two Saturday games came up second with Florida State/Clemson “Saturday Night Football” drawing a 3.4 final rating and 5.7 million viewers (up 10% in ratings and 17% in viewership from last year) and regional coverage of UCLA/Stanford or Iowa/Ohio State earning a 3.4 and 5.3 million earlier in the day (up 31% and 33%). Rounding out the top five, Tennessee/South Carolina topped all cable games with a 2.3 and 3.4 million on ESPN, and NBC’s primetime USC/Notre Dame game scored a 2.2 and 3.5 million. As has been the case the past five weeks, FOX brought up the rear on broadcast with a mere 0.9 and 1.2 million viewers for the Noon ET TCU/Oklahoma State game – its lowest rated of the season. (SportsMediaWatch).