Ratings Roundup: Despite Viewership Drop, NFL Pro Bowl Still Outranks Nearly Every Other Non-NFL Sports Telecast

Despite the new fantasy-football-style format, the NFL Pro Bowl saw a drop in viewership – garnering 11.7 million viewers on NBC Sunday compared to 12.2 million in 2013. Nonetheless, SI.com points out that this audience was still bigger than almost Every MLB, NHL and NBA Playoff game over the past year. Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals (the highest rated non-Finals game by far last season) drew-in 11.6 million viewers, the second-most watched Game 6 in Stanley Cup Finals history earned 8.16 million viewers, the ALCS on Fox (Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox ) averaged 7.7 million viewers and the NLCS on TBS (Cardinals and Dodgers) averaged TBS. Meanwhile, MLB’s All-Star game managed 11 million viewers, NBA’s averaged 8 million. The 2012 NHL All-Star Game (not held in 2013 due to the lockout) had 1.3 million viewers…

…Final numbers from the AFC and NFC Conference Championships also reflect that the U.S. is a truly football-obsessed nation. The two conference championship games averaged 53.7 million viewers, joining the 2011 season’s championship weekend as the most-watched conference championship Sunday in more than 30 years (January 1982; game-by-game comparison below). The San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship Game on FOX averaged 55.9 million viewers to rank as the fifth most-watched conference championship game ever. The New England Patriots-Denver Broncos AFC Championship Game on CBS averaged 51.3 million viewers to rank as the third most-watched AFC Championship Game ever. The conference championship games are television’s two most-watched shows since Super Bowl XLVII…

…Wednesday’s 2012 NBA Finals rematch, in which Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat, 112-95, delivered a 2.7 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. This is the highest-rated NBA game on ESPN during the 2013-14 season. The telecast was up 93% from last year’s comparable game (Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets, 1.4). In addition, last night’s Thunder-Heat game led to a local market ratings surge in several markets, including Oklahoma City (7.9), Miami (6.1) and New York (3.9) and set an ESPN ratings record in Tulsa (4.9)…

…The NHL Stadium Series matchups from iconic venues in Los Angeles and New York this past weekend set viewership records across NBC and NBCSN.

Sunday’s NHL Stadium Series matchup on NBC (New York Rangers-New Jersey Devils from Yankee Stadium) averaged 2.079 million viewers and produced a 1.3 HH rating, making it the most-watched and highest-rated single NHL regular-season game ever on NBC, both excluding NHL Winter Classics. Locally, the Rangers-Devils game generated a 5.1 rating in New York, matching the highest rating in the New York market for any NHL game ever broadcast on NBC (Gm. 1 LA-NJ Stanley Cup Final, 5/30/12). Sunday’s broadcast generated the best-ever rating in the New York market for an NHL regular-season game on NBC.

Saturday night’s NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings from Dodger Stadium, in which the Ducks shut out the Kings 3-0, averaged 622,000 viewers and produced a 0.35 HH rating, up 139% against the average viewership of 2013’s NHL 10pm ET telecasts. Saturday’s Ducks-Kings matchup produced a 2.38 rating in Los Angeles, the highest-ever rating in the L.A. market for an NHL regular-season game on NBCSN…

…The impressive NHL Stadium Series numbers come on the heels of more than 1 million viewers tuning in to watch the Chelsea-Manchester United match on NBCSN on Jan. 19. That is a record for NBCSN and the second most-watched Premier League game of all-time on U.S. cable television. Chelsea’s 3-1 victory averaged 1.019 million viewers on NBCSN, just shy of the Premier League U.S. cable record (1.033 million for the “Manchester Derby” on ESPN, 4/30/12).  Five of the six most-watched Premier League U.S. cable telecasts of all-time have come on NBCSN this season…

…The special Masahiro Tanaka edition of Yankees Hot Stove on Jan. 22 was the highest-rated Yankees Hot Stove telecast of the winter for YES, with a .79 avg. TV HH rating in the New York DMA.  The previous high for the season was on December 5, 2013 (.72)…

…The 10th edition of the “UFC on FOX” drew a 2.1 overnight rating Saturday night, down 19% from last year’s January telecast (2.6), but up 17% from the most recent telecast in December (1.8)…

…CBS had its first coverage of the ‘13-14 PGA Tour season with the final rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open over the weekend. The net earned a 2.3 overnight rating for Sunday’s final round, which saw Scott Stallings win the event. That figure is down sharply from a 3.7 overnight last year, largely due to the absence of Tiger Woods at the tournament. Saturday’s third round drew a 1.1 overnight, down 31% from rainout coverage last year (1.6)…

…Sunday’s Lakers/Knicks NBA regular season game earned a 3.3 overnight on ABC, down 33% from Thunder/Lakers last year (4.9) and down 20% from Bulls/Heat in 2012 (4.1). The early Spurs/Heat game drew a 2.7 overnight, down 29% from Heat/Celtics last year (3.8).