Ratings Roundup: NBC SNF Off to Best Start for NFL Package Since 1994; Yanks-Blue Jays Posts Big Numbers for YES, Sportsnet

Through the opening three weeks of the NFL season (four telecasts), NBC’s Sunday Night Football is averaging 25.6 million viewers – the best viewership for the NFL’s broadcast primetime package at this point in the season in more than two decades (25.9 million in 1994), according to official national data released by The Nielsen Company. SNF viewership is up 10% from last year at this time (23.2 million viewers). Sunday Night Football is also averaging a 14.9/26 national household rating and a 9.5 rating in the Adult 18-49 demographic, up 10% and 7%, respectively from this point last season. Following the viewership increases for the season’s first three SNF telecasts, this marks the first time in the 10-season history of Sunday Night Football on NBC that each of the first four games had a larger audience than the corresponding game the prior season.

NBC-Sunday Night FootballThe Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos’ 24-12 victory over the Detroit Lions this past Sunday drew an average of 22.1 million viewers, up 12% from last year’s Week 3 SNF game (19.8 million for Steelers-Panthers) and ranking as the second-most watched Week 3 game in SNF history. The Denver-Detroit Sunday Night Football telecast (8:31-11:44 pm ET), highlighted by Manning’s 324 passing yards and two touchdowns as the Broncos improved their record to 3-0, posted a 13.1/22 national household rating, up 10% from last year’s Week 3 game (11.9/20). Sunday Night Football led NBC to a decisive Sunday win in all key measures, taking the night among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox by a 138% margin in Adults 18-49 (6.9 vs. 2.9 for #2 CBS).

Football Night in America (7:30-8:15 p.m. ET) is averaging 10.9 million viewers – the best start in the show’s 10-season history and up 33% from last year at this point (8.2 million)…

ESPN’s Monday Night Football game – a Green Bay Packers’ 38-28 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs – helped ESPN win the night among all networks – broadcast or cable – in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos. The game was also the highest-rated program of the night in all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49 and 25-54). The game averaged an 8.3 US household rating and 13,514,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen. The telecast peaked from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET with a 10.4 rating and 17,052,000 viewers. In Kansas City, the game delivered a 10.6 rating on ESPN and a 19.4 on KMBC-ABC, for a combined 30.0 rating in the market. In Milwaukee, the game delivered a 13.1 rating on ESPN and a 34.5 on WISN-ABC, for a combined 47.6 rating in the market. The top 10 metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): Las Vegas (15.1), Denver (14.4), San Diego (13.3), New Orleans (13.1), West Palm Beach (11.7), Raleigh-Durham (11.7), Norfolk (11.4), Jacksonville (11.2), Phoenix (11.1), and (tied) Albuquerque, Seattle and Sacramento (10.8).

The Chiefs-Packers game also logged the 3rd highest audience ever for MNF on WatchESPN – behind the Week 1 Vikings-49ers (230,000) and Eagles-Falcons (215,000) games – with an average minute audience of 205,000, up 65 percent compared to last year’s Week 3 MNF game. It also had 651,000 unique viewers watching 46,017,000 live minutes – up 77 percent and 76 percent, respectively, and the most total minutes viewed ever for a MNF game on WatchESPN…

…After setting the pace in the first three weeks of the college football season, ESPN continued the momentum into the final weekend of September. ESPN/ABC televised three of the four most-watched games of week 4, including the most-watched primetime game. Additionally, for the fourth consecutive week, more people streamed live on WatchESPN than in any other regular-season college football week of the 2014 season.

Western Michigan at No. 1 Ohio State and Virginia Tech at East Carolina, regionalized, on ABC (3:30 p.m. ET) set the pace, averaging 3,721,000 viewers, a 42% increase compared to 2014’s comparable window – Texas A&M at SMU and Utah at Michigan (2,613,000 viewers).

ESPN and WatchESPN’s most-watched, most-streamed game was No. 8 LSU at Syracuse (noon) which garnered 3,204,000 television viewers and, on WatchESPN, an average minute audience of 72,000 people and 359,000 unique viewers.

The Tigers-Orange stream on WatchESPN resulted in a 136% and 115% increase, respectively, to 2014’s comparable window – Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech – in average minute audience (30,000 people) and unique viewers (167,000 unique viewers). On ESPN, the game resulted in a 2% increase in television viewership (3,144,000 people) to the same 2014 window.

ESPN/ABC, which has televised the most-watched primetime game each week of the 2015 season, continued the trend when the overtime-thriller between No. 14 Texas A&M and Arkansas on ESPN (7:15 p.m.) earned 3,112,000 viewers.

Throughout all of week 4, college football on WatchESPN was viewed on 1,700,000 unique devices that streamed 141,100,000 live minutes, a 39% and 44% increase, respectively, compared to 2014’s week 4.

The Sept. 22 Yankees-Blue Jays game was YES Network’s most-viewed and highest-rated telecast of the 2015 season. Excluding Derek Jeter’s final home game on September 25, 2014, last night’s game was the highest-rated telecast on YES in nearly three years, since October 2012. The telecast drew an average of 456,000 viewers (4.92 average TV Household rating) in the New York DMA. The telecast peaked at 682,000 viewers (7.33 TV Household rating) in the New York DMA during the 10:00-10:15 quarter hour…

… The Yankees-Blue Jays series also set a records for Sportsnet, as it was the most-watched baseball series in network history, delivering an average audience of 1.9 million viewers (2+) over Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night’s game broadcasts (September 21-23). The series opener drew an average audience of 1.8 million for David Price’s 4-2 win over the Yankees. A series-high average audience of 2.04 million (peaking at 3.46 million at 10:17 p.m. PT in bottom of the ninth) tuned in for the Blue Jays’ extra-innings 6-4 loss. This was the second most-watched program in Sportsnet’s history behind the record-setting Yankees vs. Blue Jays game broadcast on August 14, 2015 (2.04 million, with a difference of 1,100 viewers between the two broadcasts). An average audience of 1.95 million tuned in to watch the Blue Jays win 4-0 in the final game of the series

In September, Sportsnet has averaged 1.6 million viewers for Blue Jays game broadcastsSportsnet’s 2015 season-to-date average audience for Blue Jays broadcasts is 933,000 – the highest average for Blue Jays broadcasts in network history, up 59% season-to-date over 2014. As of the end of the series, 48 broadcasts this season have exceeded 1 million viewers on Sportsnet, including every game to date in September…

…NBCSN achieved Total Day and primetime viewership records for the third quarter and the month of September (according to Nielsen). NBCSN averaged 193,000 Total Day viewers in the third quarter (June 29-September 27) – a jump of 130% vs. last year’s third quarter (84,000), which ranks No. 1 among all cable networks in year-over-year increase for the quarter. The 193,000 average Total Day (6 a.m.-6 a.m.) viewers ranks as NBCSN’s most-watched third quarter ever and the second-most watched quarter in the network’s history – trailing only the first quarter of 2014, which featured live weekday and weekend coverage of the Sochi Winter Games (215,000). NBCSN’s third-quarter primetime viewership (307,000 average viewers) ranks as its best ever for the quarter, and is up 148% from last year (124,000). NBCSN recently completed its best September ever with an average of 280,000 primetime viewers and 161,000 Total Day viewers – up 218% and 130%, respectively, from last year…

… NBC Sports Group kicked off its 2015-16 Premier League coverage on August 8 and is off to its best start ever with collective viewership on NBC, NBCSN and USA Network (561,000 per game window) up 13% from last year’s record-setting season. On NBCSN this season, eight matches have drawn at least 600,000 viewers – up from three at this point last year. On August 10, NBC Sports Group announced a six-year extension as the exclusive multi-platform media home of the Premier League in the U.S…

…Univision Deportes scored the most-viewed club soccer match of the season across all networks regardless of language with El Super Clasico on Saturday night. The contest was carried on Univision Network with a simulcast on UDN and averaged 2.0 million Total Viewers 2+ and 1.1 million Adults 18-49. Liga MX coverage on Univision is averaging 840,000 Persons 2+ and 434,000 Adults 18-49 per game this season. (Cynopsis Sports)…

…Clips of Episode 3 of Season 2 of GARBAGE TIME WITH KATIE NOLAN, which premiered Wednesday, Sept. 23 were viewed more than 467,000 times across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, FOXSports.com, FOX Sports GO and the GARBAGE TIME podcast, marking the show’s second-highest online total ever. Top clips of the week include “Backup QB Pre-Show Meeting” and “Footballium: Cure for the Football Fan,” each with more than 80,000 views on FS1’s Facebook page, and “DeMarco Murray is like the Drunkest Girl at a Party,” seen over 27,000 times on YouTube. Additionally, more than 750,000 viewers watched all or part of the episode on television during its Wednesday night premiere or one of its five re-airs on FS1 and FS2, bringing Episode 3’s total reach to over 1.2 million…