Ratings Roundup: NFL Continues to Tower Over Competition; Baylor-Oklahoma FS1’s Top CFB Game This Season

NFL programming took the top three spots among all television programs last week, led by FOX’s national telecast anchored by the Giants/Seahawks with 22.7 million average viewers. Second wasthe Bears/Packers matchup on NBC’s SNF with 18.1 million and CBS’ single window with an average of 17.4 million viewers. The following day, the Week 10 Panthers/Eagles Monday Night Football game drew a 7.2 final rating and 11.3 million viewers on ESPN, up 1% in ratings and 3% in viewership from Dolphins/Buccaneers last year (7.1, 11.0M) – the least-watched MNF telecast of the season…

…Prior to last week, at the halfway point of the 2014 NFL season, fans were tuning into NFL games in record numbers, with NFL game windows accounting for the top 10 and 26 of the top 30 most-watched programs on television since the NFL season kicked off on Sept. 4. In addition, the average NFL game telecast during the first half (including broadcast and cable) drew 18.0 million viewers (vs. 16.8 million at this point in 2013) – more than double the average primetime viewership (7.2 million) for the big four broadcast networks in the new television season, according to information provided by The Nielsen Company.  An NFL game telecast was television’s most-watched program in each of the season’s first nine weeks. Six NFL telecasts averaged at least 27.0 million viewers, doubling the three telecasts at this point last year.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football averaged 21.4 million viewers through Week 9 and ranks as the No. 1 show in primetime this television season (Live-Plus-Same-Day viewing). ESPN’s Monday Night Football averaged 13.9 million viewers, up from 13.4 million at this point last year. The Week 8 Redskins-Cowboys game on ESPN averaged 18.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched Monday Night Football game since 2010 and the fourth most-watched Monday Night Football game on ESPN of all time. In its first year being simulcast on CBS and NFL Network, Thursday Night Football featured two matchups in the top 20 most-watched programs this fall.

The top five most watched games of the first half were FOX Sunday National on Oct. 12 (mostly Cowboys-Seahawks) with 30.0 million, CBS Sunday National on Nov. 2 (mostly Broncos-Patriots) with 29.1 million, FOX Sunday National on Sept. 7 (mostly 49ers-Cowboys) 28.1 million, CBS Sunday National on Sept. 21 (mostly Broncos-Seahawks) with 27.3 million, and NBC Thursday Night Kickoff Game on Sept. 4 with 27.1 million (Packers-Seahawks)…

…Baylor came into Saturday’s Big 12 match-up against No. 16 Oklahoma ranked 10th in the nation.  Baylor’s 48-14 victory over Oklahoma last Saturday, its lopsided score notwithstanding, attracted 2,048,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, America’s fastest-growing cable network, making it the channel’s most-watched college football game of the season, and third most-watched all-time.  Among Adults 18-49 it is the most-watched college football game in FOX Sports 1 history with 868,000 viewers in that key demographic.  Later in the day, Texas’ 33-16 win over No. 24 West Virginia delivered 1,318,000 viewers making it the sixth most-watched college football game in FOX Sports 1 history…

…NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Phoenix, the second-to-last race in the Chase For the Cup, drew a 3.1 final rating and 5.1 million viewers on ESPN Sunday — up 15% in ratings and 19% in viewership from last year (2.7, 4.3M) – marking the highest rated and most-watched edition of the race since it last aired on ABC in 2009 (3.3, 5.2M). (SportsMediaWatch)…

…Friday’s Cavaliers/Nuggets NBA regular season game drew 2.4 million viewers on ESPN, up 127% from Jazz/Nuggets two years ago (1.1M). There was no comparable game last year. The Cavaliers’ win was easily the most-watched NBA telecast of the week, as no other game topped 1.7 million. In Friday’s early window, Grizzlies/Thunder drew 1.5 million. (SportsMediaWatch)…

…UniMas’ carriage of the Mexico/Netherlands friendly on Wednesday delivered an average of 1.2 million viewers to rank as the most-viewed weekday daytime friendly on Univision Networks since August 11, 2010. In addition, the contest saw an average of 765,000 Adults 18-49. (Cynopsis Sports)…

…The 2014 STREET LEAGUE SKATEBOARDING NIKE SB SUPER CROWN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP on Nov. 2 (scheduled adjacent to NFL on FOX single-header football games in most markets), delivered a 1.1/2 household rating/share and averaged 1.7 million viewers over the 90-minute program.  The event was highlighted by Nyjah Huston winning the title in dramatic fashion on his final trick – drama which led to the show peaking at more than 2.8 million viewers. In key male demographics, the show delivered a 0.8 in Men18-34, the best delivery this season for an NFL companion program on FOX.