The 2014-15 UEFA Champions League Season Boosts ESPN Deportes’ Ratings

Semifinals between Real Madrid and Juventus rank as the top two highest-rated UEFA Champions League telecasts on Spanish-language cable; Network reaches 3.2 million Hispanic viewers from Round of 16 through semifinals; UEFA Champions League scores the top 20 most-watched ESPN Deportes’ events on WatchESPN

The return of the UEFA Champions League to ESPN Deportes delivered strong ratings throughout the season, scoring its top two highest-rated telecasts of the year thus far with the two-legged semifinal between Real Madrid and Juventus on May 5 and 13.

  • The first leg encounter scored second place, averaging a 2.6 Hispanic household US rating and 386,000 Hispanic household impressions.
  • The second leg averaged a 2.7 Hispanic household US rating and 397,000 Hispanic household impressions, becoming the top match.
  • The second leg also became the most-watched ESPN Deportes event to date on WatchESPN with more than 3 million total live minutes.

Overall, the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League season on ESPN Deportes averaged a 0.9 Hispanic household rating with 173,000 Hispanic P2+ viewers. Throughout the season, the UEFA Champions League matches boosted ESPN Deportes’ live game windows by +350% compared to the same dayparts last year. From the Round of 16 through the semifinals, the UEFA Champions League on ESPN Deportes reached an average of 3.2 million Hispanic P2+ viewers.

The 2014-15 UEFA Champions League matches also drove digital growth across ESPN Deportes on WatchESPN and ESPN Deportes+. Throughout the season, there were 1.2 million live unique devices that watched 54 million live minutes of UEFA Champions League on ESPN Deportes via WatchESPN and ESPN Deportes+. The Champions League matches also swept all top 20 spots of the most-watched ESPN Deportes events on WatchESPN.


Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Generates 4.4 Million Plus Domestic Pay-Per-View Buys



Generates Combined Total Revenues In Excess of $500 Million

NEW YORK (May 12, 2015)—The boxing blockbuster event, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, shattered the previous record for total pay-per-view buys and now ranks as the highest-grossing pay-per-view of all time.  Initial reports from distributors indicate that the event generated more than 4.4 million U.S. buys and more than $400 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue alone.  With additional revenue from the live gate at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, international television distribution, sponsorships, closed circuit and merchandise sales, the event is expected to generate in excess of $500 million in gross worldwide receipts.  The news was announced jointly by Showtime Networks Inc., a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, and HBO in conjunction with event promoters Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank, Inc.

The welterweight world championship unification bout nearly doubled the previous record of 2.48 million buys generated by the Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing event in 2007 and nearly tripled the record $150 million in U.S. pay-per-view revenue generated by Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez in 2013.

Live gate receipts for the star-studded event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena produced more than $71 million in revenue, dramatically eclipsing the previous live gate record of $20 million (for Mayweather vs. Canelo) for both the sport of boxing and Las Vegas.

Additionally, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao set the record for closed circuit admissions and revenue both in Las Vegas and at establishments nationwide.  The event sold nearly 46,000 closed circuit admissions at MGM Resorts International properties in Las Vegas alone and was available at more than 5,000 bars, restaurants and commercial establishments throughout the U.S.

Distributed in 175 countries worldwide, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was available in essentially 75 percent of the world’s territories, setting the revenue record for international distribution.

As reported last week, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao drew enormous numbers on social media.  For example, Facebook reported that 37 million unique people contributed more than 115 million interactions from the start of the event to 30 minutes following its completion, a new record for a boxing event.

The May 2 promotion included unprecedented marketing and cross-promotional support from distributors as well as record revenue from the event’s major sponsors.

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was a 12-round welterweight world championship unification bout promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank Inc., and co-produced and co-distributed by HBO PPV® and SHOWTIME PPV®.

# # #

ESPN’s NFL Draft: Round 1 Scores Seven Million Viewers

Third Highest-Rated and Third Most-Viewed Opening Night Ever

Thursday night’s live ESPN telecast of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft averaged 7,026,000 viewers and a 4.5 US rating based on fast nationals, according to Nielsen, making it the third most-viewed and third highest-rated opening day draft in ESPN’s 36 years of presenting the event (since 1980).

The 2014 NFL Draft – which included former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel falling to the 22nd pick in the first round – ranks as the highest-rated (6.1 rating) and most-viewed (9,943,000 viewers) opening night for ESPN. The 2010 draft – which included another former Heisman winner, Tim Tebow, picked at No. 25 by the Denver Broncos – ranks second (4.6 rating and 7,290,000 viewers).

Last night’s ESPN telecast peaked at a 5.4 rating and 8,446,000 viewers between 8:30-9 p.m. ET. The top 10 metered markets included Cleveland (11.4), New Orleans (8.6), Philadelphia (8.0), Columbus, Ohio (7.4), Birmingham, Ala. (7.4), Tampa-St. Petersburg (6.8), Greensboro, N.C. (6.7), Norfolk, Va. (6.6), Charlotte (6.4) and Baltimore (6.4).


WatchESPN logged 603,000 unique viewers and 31 million total minutes, up 32 percent and 16 percent, respectively, compared to Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft.  It also had an average minute audience of 144,000, up 23 percent.

ESPN NFL Draft Coverage Continues Friday and Saturday

ESPN’s live NFL Draft coverage continues tonight at 7 p.m. ET (rounds 2 and 3) and Saturday at 12 p.m. (rounds 4-7). In addition, SportsCenter and ESPN’s NFL news and information programs will continue to provide coverage of the event throughout the weekend from Chicago. ESPN Radio will also broadcast rounds 2 and 3 tonight (6:30 p.m.).

ESPN NFL Draft Telecast Ratings – Round 1 (2010-15):

Year US Rating Viewers
2015 4.5 7,026,000
2014 6.1 9,943,000
2013 4.1 6,199,000
2012 4.4 6,661,000
2011 3.8 6,003,000
2010 4.6 7,290,000


‘Subway Series’ on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Delivers Double-Digit Ratings Increase

  • New York Mets-New York Yankees Generates Strong 1.9 Overnight Rating, Up 36 Percent
  • 8.4 Local New York Rating is Best for MLB Game on ESPN in Market Since 2011

On Sunday, April 26, the New York Mets at New York Yankees ‘Subway Series’ match-up on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell delivered a double-digit ratings increase, according to Nielsen. The telecast generated a strong 1.9 overnight rating, up 36 percent from the comparable game in 2014 (Boston Red Sox-Baltimore Orioles), which drew a 1.4.

Locally, the game generated an 8.4 rating in the New York market, which is the best rating for a Major League Baseball telecast on ESPN in the market since the 2011 season.

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball continues on May 3 as the Yankees travel to Fenway Park to visit the Boston Red Sox at 8 p.m. Dan Shulman, analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney will provide commentary with Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown preceding the game at 7 p.m. from Yawkey Way.


Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or (@Ben_ESPN);

Gianina Thompson at 860-766-7022 or


2015 NCAA Tournament National Championship Game Featuring Duke Over Wisconsin Scores Highest Overnight Rating In 18 Years

cbs-tnt-tbs-ncaaDuke vs. Wisconsin on CBS Delivers 17.1/27, Up 33%

2015 NCAA Tournament Across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV Garners
Highest Overall Average Rating in 22 Years

NCAA March Madness Live Generates Record-Setting 3.4 Million Live Video Streams
for Championship Game

CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of last night’s NCAA Tournament Men’s National Championship between Duke and Wisconsin on CBS scored a 17.1/27 HH rating/share to deliver the highest overnight rating for the NCAA Men’s National Championship in the metered markets in 18 years (1997; 18.0/28, Arizona-Kentucky), based on Nielsen metered market ratings. The broadcast’s 17.1/27 is up 33% over last year (12.9/21; Connecticut-Kentucky) and peaked with a 20.1/34 from 11:00-11:30 PM, ET.

Overall, 2015 NCAA Tournament coverage across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 7.8/16 overnight rating/share, up 13% and is the best overnight rating in 22 years (7.9/17 in 1993).

Top five rated metered markets for last night’s game:

  • Milwaukee – 42.2/59
  • Raleigh-Durham – 36.2/54
  • Louisville – 33.5/48
  • Columbus – 29.9/44
  • Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem – 29.5/43

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live garnered a record-setting 3.4 million live video streams for last night’s NCAA Championship game and nearly one million hours of live video consumed, also an all-time record.  Last night’s live video streams are up 66%, with the live hours of consumption up 69% over last year.  NCAA March Madness Live generated 80.7 million live video streams and 17.8 million hours of live video consumption during this year’s tournament, both all-time highs.  This year’s live video streams are up 17%, with live hours of consumption netting a 19% increase.

The NCAA Tournament grossed a record 350 million total social impressions across Facebook and Twitter for a 45% increase over 2014.

# # #

Kentucky-Wisconsin Delivers Best Overnight Rating for National Semifinal in 22 Years as NCAA Tournament Continues Record-Setting Numbers

cbs-tnt-tbs-ncaaKentucky vs. Wisconsin Across TBS, TNT and truTV Garners Highest Overnight Rating for College Basketball Game in Cable Television History

NCAA Tournament to Date Nets Highest Overnight Rating in 23 Years

NCAA March Madness Live Nets Record 77 Million Live Streams Through Saturday

Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ exclusive coverage of last night’s NCAA Tournament National Semifinal between Kentucky and Wisconsin across TBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 13.3/24 overnight rating/share to deliver the highest rating for a college basketball game in the history of cable television and the highest rating for a Final Four game in 22 years (13.8/24 in 1993).  The networks’ collective coverage of Kentucky/Wisconsin peaked with a 16.4/30 overnight rating/share from 11-11:15 p.m. ET.  The game telecast is up 48% over last year, based on Nielsen metered market ratings.

The NCAA Final Four National Semifinals doubleheader – including Duke vs. Michigan State – averaged an 11.4/22 overnight rating/share to register as the highest average overnight rating for the doubleheader in 20 years (11.6/22 in 1995).  Last night’s National Semifinals are up 39% over last year.

The Duke/Michigan State telecast across TBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 9.6/20 overnight rating/share, the highest overnight rating in 10 years (10.3/19 in 2005) and a 30% increase over last year.

Overall, the NCAA Tournament coverage across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is averaging a 7.5/15 overnight rating/share, tied as the best overnight rating in 23 years (7.7/16 in 1992).

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live has garnered more than 77 million live video streams and 16.8 million live hours of video consumption through Saturday’s National Semifinals, both all-time records.   This year’s live streams are up 15% over last year, with live hours of video consumed up 17%.  Yesterday, NCAA March Madness Live delivered a record-setting six million live video streams and 1.5 million live hours of consumption for the National Semifinals, up 59% and 53%, respectively.


The NCAA Tournament has grossed a record 306 million total social impressions across Facebook and Twitter through the second Thursday for a 36% increase over 2014.

Source: Nielsen Media Research, Arianna, Live +SD data stream. 3/17/15 – 4/4/15 vs. 3/18/15 – 4/5/15.   2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data. Conviva, Adobe Analytics for digital metrics. Facebook Insights and Twitter for social analytics.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Race From Martinsville Sets FOX Sports 1 Audience Mark

fox-sports-1-logoStrong Viewership Also Reported for MLS, FOX SPORTS LIVE, JOCKEY CLUB TOUR


Charlotte, N.C. — College hoops isn’t the only sport to see sizable audiences last weekend.

On Sunday (3/29), FOX Sports televised its first ever regularly scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race on FOX Sports 1, and the audience from Martinsville (VA) Speedway was record-setting.  Overcoming intense competition, the race attracted 4,061,000 viewers making it the most-watched motorsports event in network history, the fourth most-watched telecast ever on the network and the only non-MLB postseason event among the network’s top five.

According to Nielsen, the race propelled FOX Sports 1 to its most-watched Sunday from 6:00 AM-3:00 AM since launch, averaging 1,068,000 viewers over that span.  Moreover, FOX Sports 1 was the most-watched ad supported cable network from 1:00-5:15 PM ET on Sunday (4,089,000 viewers), posting a +170% advantage over the next closest network (Nickelodeon, 1,511,000 viewers).  The audience for the race peaked at 5,450,000 from 5:00-5:11 PM ET as Denny Hamlin held off a final-lap charge from Brad Keselowski to cop his first win of the season.

The audience for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race supplanted the previous FOX Sports 1 motorsports record of 3,526,000 set Feb. 15, 2014 for the SPRINT UNLIMITED.  The only other Sprint Cup points event on FOX Sports 1 was last season’s Bristol race on March 16 which was moved from FOX to FOX Sports 1 due to rain.  That race averaged 3,227,000 viewers.

Preceding the race, NASCAR RACEDAY posted 1,008,000 viewers, +52% above last year’s edition from Martinsville (661,000).  Immediately following the race, a special airing of FOX SPORTS LIVE posted 1,904,000 viewers marking the show’s seventh most-watched edition ever.

Later in the evening, Real Salt Lake’s 2-1 victory over Toronto in MLS action tallied 211,000 viewers, the largest audience for a FOX Sports 1 MLS match since opening weekend, and +50% above the comparable package’s 2014 season average (141,000).

Saturday (3/28) was a good day for racing of all kinds on FOX Sports 1.  The JOCKEY CLUB TOUR from Dubai delivered 291,000 viewers making it the second-most watched horse race in FOX Sports 1 history and more than doubled the average of the 12 previous races (120,000).  Later that day, the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race from Martinsville scored 1,100,000 viewers, +22% from the 2013 race on SPEED (902,000).  Last year’s race was rained out and moved to Sunday at 5:30pm and delivered 532,000 viewers.


No Foolin’, ESPN and ESPN2 Both up Double Digits for First Quarter

ESPN and ESPN2 were each up double digits in average 24-hour audience for the first quarter, which ended this past weekend, according to Nielsen. In addition, the total average audience of ESPN’s six measured networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes) was up nine percent.

ESPN was up 11 percent, averaging more than a million viewers at any time – 1,033,000, up from 931,000. The quarter got off to a tremendous start with the new College Football Playoff semifinals and championship drawing the three largest audiences in cable television history, topped by the 33,395,000 viewer average for the National Championship Game, won by Ohio State over Oregon. January was also boosted by the addition of an NFL wild card playoff game and the return of the NFL Pro Bowl.

ESPN2’s average audience was up 10 percent, at 282,000 viewers, up from 257,000. In addition to the network’s highest rating in history for the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day (a 3.8 for Wisconsin’s overtime victory over Auburn), its weekday studio programming continued to perform strongly (Mike & Mike, First Take, His and Hers, and SportsNation) while the Australian Open and college basketball also contributed to the gains.

The total combined average audience for ESPN’s six measured networks was 1,468,000 people, an increase of nine percent over 2014 (1,346,000).


2015 NCAA Tournament Delivers Record-Setting Opening Week

cbs-tnt-tbs-ncaaNCAA Tournament Opening Week Generates Highest-Ever Overnight Television Ratings

NCAA March Madness Live Nets Record 54 Million Live Video Streams Through Sunday

The 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship continues to generate record-setting consumption across all multimedia platforms.  CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of the NCAA Tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is averaging a 6.7/14 overnight rating/share to register as the highest-ever rating for the event through the first Sunday (since the tournament expanded to its current television format in 1991). This year’s NCAA Tournament to date overnight rating (6.7/14) is up 6% compared to a 6.3/14 in 2014, based on Nielsen metered market ratings.

This weekend’s exclusive third round coverage delivered a 7.3/16 overnight rating/share, the highest rating for the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament in 22 years and a 7% increase over last year.

NCAA March Madness Live has also generated a record-setting 54 million live video streams through Sunday, a 7% increase over last year.  Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live has netted more than 11 million live hours of video consumption through the first week of the tournament, up 8% through the same period a year ago.

The NCAA Tournament has also grossed a record 108 million total social impressions across Facebook and Twitter through Sunday for a 40% increase over 2014.

Source: Nielsen Media Research, Arianna, Live +SD data stream. 3/17/15 – 3/22/15 vs. 3/18/15 – 3/23/15.   2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data. Conviva, Adobe Analytics for digital metrics. Facebook Insights and Twitter for social analytics.


Men’s College Basketball: ESPN’s 36th Season is its Second Most-Viewed


  • 1,714 Exclusive Games across Television and Digital Platforms
  • ESPN and ESPN2 Televise Season’s Five Most-Viewed Games across All Networks
  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU’s 622 Games Average 475,000 Viewers; WatchESPN Generates 607,000,000 Live Minutes Viewed
  • Louisville Makes it a Baker’s Dozen with Metered Market Record

ESPN’s 36th consecutive year of men’s regular-season college basketball averaged 1,376,000 viewers, the network’s second most-viewed season on record and only 78,000 viewers fewer than the previous high set last year. ESPN also set an industry-record for exclusive games, carrying 1,714 men’s contests across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPNEWS, SEC Network, SEC Network+ and Longhorn Network. Highlights:

Five Most-Viewed Games of Season and an ESPN2 Record

ESPN and ESPN2 combined to televise the five most-viewed games this season on any network and were the only networks with telecasts that averaged more than three million viewers. ESPN’s two Duke vs. North Carolina contests took the top two spots with the March 7 game averaging 4,241,000 viewers and the February 18 telecast averaging 4,136,000 viewers.

In addition to being the season’s third most-viewed game, ESPN2’s 3,495,000 viewers for Kentucky at Louisville on December 27 is also the network’s most-viewed men’s college hoops game ever. The remaining top five were on ESPN: Duke at Virginia on January 31 averaged 3,489,000 viewers and Kentucky at Florida on February 7 averaged 3,267,000 viewers.

669 Television Games Averages 448,000 Viewers

An extensive schedule of 669 exclusive games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS – at least one telecast on all but nine days from November 14 to March 8 – averaged 448,000 viewers. Overall, the four networks combined to reach 114,932,000 viewers.

Audience Records for WatchESPN

The 1,714 games on WatchESPN – every exclusive contest on an ESPN television and digital platform – generated 607,000,000 minutes viewed, up 56 percent over 2013-14. Overall, 2014-15 produced WatchESPN’s four most-viewed regular-season men’s college basketball games ever: North Carolina at Duke on February 18 (219,000 unique viewers), Kentucky at Georgia on March 3 (168,000), Kentucky at Louisville on December 27 (158,000) and Duke at North Carolina on March 7 (150,000).

Louisville’s 13th Year as Top Market Sets Record for Highest Season Average of Any Market

ESPN telecasts in Louisville averaged a metered market-leading 5.9 rating, its 13th straight year at the top and the largest regular-season average for the sport on ESPN in any market on record. Greensboro, with a 3.0 average rating, ended the season with the second highest rating for the fourth consecutive year. Raleigh-Durham (2.7) and Kansas City (2.4) – which were tied for second last season — were the third and fourth top markets, respectively this year. The remaining top 10: Columbus (2.1), Cincinnati (1.9), Dayton (1.9), Indianapolis (1.8), Charlotte (1.8) and Memphis (1.8).