Ratings Roundup: Warriors’ Dominance Drives Huge Viewership; NHL Stadium Series Continues Ratings Slide

The Feb. 27 edition of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC – the Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-118 in overtime – averaged 5,322,000 viewers (p2+) making it the most-watched NBA regular-season telecast on any network since 2013 (non-Christmas).

ratings-warriorsThe telecast peaked with 8,065,000 viewers from 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET. The game generated a 3.2 U.S. household rating. The Warriors-Thunder instant classic also propelled ABC to win the night across all key Male and People demos, including M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34, P18-49 and P25-54. NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC has won the night across key demos in all four of the franchise’s telecasts. Golden State’s victory over Oklahoma City is also the second-most streamed NBA regular-season game ever on WatchESPNwith a total of 15 million minutes-watched. It generated 306,000 unique viewers and an average minute audience of 84,000, which is second-best and third-best, respectively, for an NBA regular-season game.

Two nights later (Feb. 29), NBA TV’s coverage of the Golden State Warriors’ overtime win over the Hawks averaged 684,000 total viewers and ranks as the network’s third most-viewed game of the season. In addition, NBA TV Fan Night telecast ranked as the top live game sporting event of the night among Men 18-34.

Then last night (March 3), TNT’s Thunder-at-Warriors telecast delivered the top sports program of night with a 2.9 HH overnight rating, up 123% vs the same corresponding game last year. The top local markets for were San Francisco with a 15.3 HH rating followed by Oklahoma City with a 9.7 HH rating…

NHL’s Outdoor Game Ratings Slide Continues in Denver
For the second week in a row, the NHL scored its smallest outdoor game audience on broadcast television. Saturday’s Red Wings/Avalanche NHL Stadium Series game scored a 1.0 final rating and 1.7 million viewers on NBC, up 25% in ratings and 21% in viewership from an indoor Rangers/Flyers game last year (0.8, 1.4M) but down 38% and 39%, respectively, from Penguins/Blackhawks in the Stadium Series two years ago (1.6, 2.8M). The Red Wings’ win ranks as the lowest rated and least-watched NHL outdoor game on broadcast television (12 telecasts dating back to 2008).

The previous lows were set six days earlier by Blackhawks/Wild (1.1, 1.9M). While the Stadium Series game itself struggled, NBC Sports Group’s Hockey Day In America tripleheader was up 21%, averaging more than 1.2 million viewers across NBC and NBCSN compared to last year’s 992,000.

Check out SportsMediaWatch for more in-depth coverage of the NHL’s outdoor game ratings struggles.

Ratings Odds and Ends
One week after a near record-low for the Daytona 500, NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Atlanta earned a 4.1 final rating and 6.8 million viewers on FOX Sunday afternoon, down 27% in ratings and 28% in viewership from last year (5.6, 9.5M) and down 23% in both measures from the second race of the 2014 season, Phoenix (5.3, 8.8M).That is the lowest rating for NASCAR’s second race of the season in 16 years — since Rockingham on TNN in 2000 (3.9). (SMW)

…Wednesday’s Blackhawks/Red Wings game on NBCSN averaged 848,000 viewers for the rivalry game, marking the network’s most-watched regular-season outing since 2013 (not counting opening night games). That was up 42% over the average Wednesday Night Rivalry viewership for the first quarter of 2015. Chicago led all local markets with a 5.4 rating for the Blackhawks’ win, with Detroit scoring a 3.0. (Cynopsis Sports)…

The adjusted viewership of Friday night’s Bellator 150 drew 809,000 viewer with a  peak of 984,000. The main event featuring Cheick Kongo received 866,000 viewers. The overnight ratings saw Bellator 150 average 733,000 viewers and the increase of over 75,000 viewers exceeds the normal DVR bump Bellator usually receives in non-tentpole events. The adjusted viewership is based on the DVR +3 ratings. (MMA Payout)

This comes after Spike’s Bellator 149 telecast on Feb. 19 averaged just shy of two million viewers. The main event – Kimbo Slice-Dada 5000 – drew an average of 2.5 million viewers between 11:16PM and 11:30PM ET, while the main event between Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie averaged slightly less at 2.4 million viewers between 11:54PM-11:57PM ET. That average for the Slice-Dada 5000 is higher than the peak number drawn for Slice’s bout with Shamrock last June, which had been Bellator’s previous high water mark. It’s also the most watched MMA event on Spike since the UFC Fight Night 24 event in March of 2011, which averaged 2.2 million viewers for an event headlined by Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Phil Davis, but which peaked at 2.4 million viewers. (MMA Torch)…