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).


DAYTONA 500 Bounces Back & Daytona Speedweeks Viewership Up On FOX Sports 1

fox-sports-1-logoFirst 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Race on FOX Sports 1

Enjoys Viewership Bump

Daytona 500 Scores Major Growth on FOX Sports GO; Consumption of NASCAR Content on FOXSports.com up 63% Year-to-Year

After suffering through a daylong weather delay in 2014, the DAYTONA 500 began working its way back last weekend, scoring 13.4 million viewers on FOX, a +44% increase over last year’s 9.3 million. A total of 23.5 million viewers watched all or part of Sunday’s telecast. Additionally, 11 days of Speedweeks programming on FOX Sports 1 enjoyed a 14% increase in average viewership (293,000 vs. 257,000).

NASCAR shoulder programming surrounding the DAYTONA 500 was strong overall on Sunday, Feb. 22, as NASCAR RACEDAY averaged 973,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, a 31% increase over last year’s 742,000 for a one-hour edition of the show.  NASCAR VICTORY LANE posted 464,000 viewers, up 21% over the last post-Daytona run in 2013 (383,000). The week leading up to the Daytona 500 was the third most-watched in FOX Sports 1 history and the highest since last season’s National League Championship Series.

FOX kicked off the 2015 NASCAR SPRINT CUP season Saturday, Feb. 14 with the SPRINT UNLIMITED averaging 5.6 million viewers, a 60% increase over 2014 (3.5 million) when it aired on FOX Sports 1. The race powered FOX to a first-place finish in prime time among broadcast networks across all key male and adult demos including A18-49 and A18-34.

A variety of sports programming led FOX Sports 1 to its eighth most-watched Saturday since launch, averaging 490,000 viewers on Saturday, Feb. 14. Motor sports programming started at 10:30 AM ET with a NASCAR SPRINT CUP PRACTICE from Daytona drawing 698,000 viewers, up 27% from the equivalent practice last year (551,000).  Saturday afternoon’s ARCA RACING SERIES race from Daytona was the most-watched program of the day on FOX Sports 1 with 919,000 viewers.

DAYTONA POLE DAY QUALIFYING, airing Sunday, Feb. 15 on FOX, averaged 3.4 million viewers, up 17% from 2014. The first ever “group qualifying” format at Daytona is the highest rated and most watched session since 2009, with Jeff Gordon scoring the pole for his final race at Daytona International Speedway. The four-time champion announced he will be retiring at the end of the 2014 season.

The 2015 BUDWEISER DUEL AT DAYTONA scored 3,018,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, a slight dip from last year’s 3,122,000 prime time debut, but strong enough to be No. 1 in ad-supported cable from 7:00-10:30 PM ET in total viewers and Adults 18-49 on Thursday, Feb. 19. Earlier in the day, a slate of Daytona practices (Sprint Cup Final, NCWTS and NCWTS Final) averaged 244,000 viewers, a 16% increase in viewership (vs. 210,000) compared to the same three Thursday practice sessions last year.


On Friday, Feb. 20, the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES RACE from Daytona garnered 1,550,000 viewers, a 3% increase from last year’s 1,502,000 viewers.  Earlier in the day, NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES QUALIFYING posted a 15% gain over 2013 (472,000 vs. 409,000).

The first 2015 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race under the new television deal on FOX Sports 1 delivered 2,944,000 viewers on Saturday, Feb. 21, an 8% increase over last year’s race on ESPN and good for the most-watched sports event on ad-supported cable on the weekend. The race, with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick serving as an analyst for the first time, was the 13th most-watched telecast in FOX Sports 1 history. Following the race, FOX SPORTS LIVE averaged 2,485,000 viewers, making it the second most-watched edition of FOX SPORTS LIVE ever and most-watched with a duration greater than 30 minutes.

This year’s Daytona 500 was the most-watched NASCAR event ever on FOX SPORTS GO, posting a 220% increase in unique visitors over last year’s race.  In addition, mobile consumption of NASCAR content on FOXSPORTS.COM was up 63% year-to-year.

According to Nielsen’s SocialGuide, the Daytona 500 accounted for 297,300 Total Tweets from 10:00 AM ET to 8:00 PM ET, with 113,600 Unique Authors, a Unique Audience of 5.8 million and 50.6 million Impressions.


NFL 2014 TV Recap: 202 Million Fans Tuned In; NFL Game Viewership Nearly Triples Broadcast Primetime; 45 Of 50 Most-Watched Shows This Fall

nfl-logoNFL 2014 TV RECAP






The 2014 NFL season had it all. Close games, come-from-behind victories and record-breaking performances had fans tuning into NFL games.  According to The Nielsen Company, the 2014 regular season reached 202.3 million unique viewers, representing 80 percent of all television homes and 68% percent of potential viewers in the U.S.

The 2014 NFL Regular Season averaged 17.6 million viewers per game telecast, making it the second most-watched season ever behind the 2010 season (17.9 million).

NFL games accounted for the top 20, and 45 of the 50 most-watched TV shows among all programming last fall (chart below).

Five NFL game telecasts this season were watched by at least 29 million viewers, up from just one in the 2013 season.

For the third consecutive year, an NFL game was the week’s most-watched TV show in all 17 weeks of the season. In addition, at least two NFL games were the week’s most-watched TV shows in 16 weeks of the season (chart below).

NFL games on broadcast television nearly tripled broadcast primetime viewership. NFL games on CBS, FOX and NBC averaged 19.2 million viewers – 162% percent higher than the average primetime viewership among the four major over-the-air networks (7.4 million average on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC).

Over the past decade, average viewership of NFL games on broadcast television has increased 25% from 15.4 million in 2004 to 19.2 million in 2014.

More 2014 NFL TV highlights:

  • NBC’s Sunday Night Football ranked as the most-watched primetime program for the fifth consecutive fall season averaging 21.3 million viewers. The Week 15 SNF game (Cowboys-Eagles) was the most-watched primetime game of the season with an average of 24.3 million viewers.
  • In its first year simulcast on CBS and NFL Network, Thursday Night Football saw huge gains, with total viewership up 53% from last season and 69% since 2012.
  • FOX’s Thanksgiving Day Game (Eagles-Cowboys) was the most-watched show of the fall season with 32.0 million viewers, and the 2014 Thanksgiving Day average of 28.4 million viewers was the highest Thanksgiving Day average since 1998 (29.7 million for Steelers-Lions and Vikings-Cowboys).
  • 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.
  • NFL games accounted for the top 38 and 48 of the 50 most-watched telecasts (since Sept. 4) among adults aged 18-49 – with CBS, FOX, ESPN and NBC each represented on that list.

NFL game telecasts topped weekly TV viewership charts in each of the season’s 17 weeks:

# of NFL telecasts that were most-watched shows each week: Number of weeks:
1 1
2 6
3 3
4 5
At least 5 2

For the season, NFL games rank as the 20 most-watched and 45 of the top 50 TV shows since Labor Day. Following are the most-watched programs this fall:


Program Viewers
1.     FOX Thanksgiving Day (Eagles-Cowboys), 11/27 32.0 million
2.     CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Packers), 11/30 30.9 million
3.     FOX Sunday National (mostly Cowboys-Seahawks), 10/12 30.0 million
4.     CBS Thanksgiving Day (Bears-Lions), 11/27 29.4 million
5.     CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Patriots), 11/2 29.1 million
6.     FOX Sunday National (mostly Lions-Packers), 12/28 28.5 million
7.     FOX Sunday National (mostly 49ers-Cowboys), 9/7 28.1 million
8.     CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Seahawks), 9/21 27.3 million
9.     NBC Thursday Night Kickoff Game (Packers-Seahawks), 9/4 27.1 million
10.  FOX Sunday National (mostly Giants-Cowboys), 10/19 27.0 million
11.  FOX Sunday National (mostly Eagles-Packers), 11/16 26.5 million
12.  FOX Sunday National (mostly 49ers-Seahawks), 12/14 26.5 million
13.  CBS Sunday National (mostly Dolphins at Broncos), 11/23 26.4 million
14.  FOX Sunday National (mostly Eagles-Seahawks), 12/7 25.9 million
15.  CBS Sunday National (mostly Colts-Cowboys), 12/21 25.9 million
16.  FOX Sunday National (mostly Eagles-49ers), 9/28 25.9 million
17.  CBS Sunday National (mostly Chiefs-Broncos), 9/14 25.0 million
18.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Eagles), 12/14 24.3 million
19.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Colts-Broncos), 9/7          23.8 million
20.  NBC Sunday Night Football (49ers-Broncos), 10/19 23.8 million
21.  FOX MLB World Series Game 7 23.5 million
22.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Saints-Cowboys), 9/28 23.1 million
23.  NBC Thanksgiving Night (Seahawks-49ers), 11/27 22.9 million
24.  FOX Sunday National (mostly Giants-Seahawks), 11/9 22.7 million
25.  NBC Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 11/27 22.6 million
26.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Giants), 11/23 22.4 million
27.  FOX Sunday Single (mostly Cardinals-Cowboys), 11/2 22.3 million
28.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Bears-49ers), 9/14 22.3 million
29.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Patriots-Chargers), 12/7 21.1 million
30.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Broncos-Chiefs), 11/30 21.1 million
31.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Patriots-Colts), 11/16 20.8 million
32.  CBS & NFLN Thursday Night Football (Steelers-Ravens), 9/11 20.8 million
33.  CBS Sunday National (Mostly Colts-Steelers), 10/26 20.8 million
34.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Bengals-Steelers), 12/28 20.7 million
35.  FOX Sunday Single (Mostly Lions-Patriots), 11/23 20.7 million
36.  FOX Sunday Single (mostly Packers-Lions & 49ers-Cardinals), 9/21 20.6 million
37.  CBS & NFLN Thursday Night Football (Chargers-Broncos), 10/23 20.2 million
38.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Steelers- Panthers), 9/21 19.8 million
39.  CBS Sunday National (mostly Chiefs-49ers), 10/5 19.7 million
40.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Bengals-Patriots), 10/5 19.5 million
41.  FOX Sunday Single (mostly Seahawks-Chargers & Cowboys-Titans), 9/14 19.4 million
42.  FOX Sunday Single (mostly Cardinals-Broncos & Falcons-Giants), 10/5 19.4 million
43.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Seahawks-Cardinals), 12/21 19.3 million
44.  NCIS, 9/30 19.0 million
45.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Saints-Packers), 10/26 18.8 million
46.  ESPN Monday Night Football (Redskins-Cowboys), 10/27 18.8 million
47.  CBS Sunday Single (mostly Dolphins-Patriots, Steelers-Falcons), 12/14 18.7 million
48.  NBC Sunday Night Football (Ravens-Steelers), 11/2 18.6 million
49.  60 Minutes, 11/30 18.4 million
50.  NCIS, 9/23 18.3 million

Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company

# # #

Cardinals-Panthers Wild Card Game is ESPN’s Third Highest-Rated NFL Game Ever

espn-nfl-liveEighth Most-Watched Telecast among Viewers, and Ninth Highest-Rated, in Cable TV History

The Saturday afternoon NFL Wild Card game on ESPN – a Carolina Panthers’ 27-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals – ranks as the network’s third highest-rated NFL game ever. It is also the eighth most-viewed telecast among viewers (see chart below), and ninth highest-rated, in cable television history.

The Cardinals-Panthers game – the first NFL Playoff game in ESPN’s 35-year history – averaged a 12.5 household US rating; 14,551,000 households; and 21,678,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen fast nationals. The rating peaked from 5:45-6 p.m. ET with a 13.9 rating and at 24,300,000 viewers from 7-7:15 p.m.

The only NFL games on ESPN to rate higher were Monday Night Football contests – Minnesota-Green Bay (13.2 household rating, 10/5/09) and New Orleans-New England (12.9 rating, 11/30/09).

The Wild Card continued one of ESPN’s most successful weeks in history following record-setting audiences on New Year’s Day for the two inaugural College Football Playoff Semifinal games. In the week ahead, ESPN will continue its presentation of marquee football telecasts with the much-anticipated Oregon-Ohio State College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, January 12.

In Phoenix, the game delivered a 21.6 rating on ESPN and a 7.3 on KASW-CW, for a combined 28.9 rating in the market. In Charlotte, the game delivered a 20.4 rating on ESPN and a 16.3 on WJZY-FOX, for a combined 36.6 rating in the market.

The top 10 metered markets (in addition to those of the competing teams) included: Greensboro (25.8), Las Vegas (19.6), Raleigh-Durham (19.5), Greenville (19.5), Denver (18.5), Seattle (18.3), Richmond (16.9), Baltimore (16.8), Norfolk (16.5) and New Orleans (16.5). Five markets recorded the highest-rated NFL game rating ever on ESPN: Charlotte, Detroit (13.8), Greensboro, Raleigh, and Salt Lake City (11.3).

ESPN’s 17 Monday Night Football telecasts in 2014 averaged an 8.3 US household rating; 9,636,000 households; and 13,349,000 viewers. Release.

Top 10 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television History (Viewers):

Rank Date Program Network Viewers (000s)
1. 01/01/2015 CFB/Sugar Bowl: Alabama-Ohio St. ^ ESPN 28,271
2. 01/01/2015 CFB/Rose Bowl: Oregon-Florida St. ^ ESPN 28,164
3. 01/10/2011 CFB/BCS Champ: Oregon-Auburn ESPN 27,316
4. 01/07/2013 CFB/BCS Champ: Alabama-Notre Dame ESPN 26,380
5. 01/06/2014 CFB/BCS Champ: Florida St.-Auburn ESPN 25,572
6. 01/09/2012 CFB/BCS Champ: Alabama-LSU ESPN 24,214
7. 10/05/2009 NFL MNF: Green Bay-Minnesota ESPN 21,839
8. 01/03/2015 NFL Wild Card: Arizona-Carolina ESPN 21,678
9. 11/30/2009 NFL MNF: New England-New Orleans ESPN 21,402
10. 01/01/2011 CFB/Rose Bowl: TCU-Wisconsin ESPN 20,558

Note: excluding breaking news; live + same day

^ Inaugural College Football Playoff semifinal games

2015 games in bold

ESPN Digital: WatchESPN Posts Second-Highest Audience Ever for an NFL Game

The Arizona-Carolina Wild Card game had a WatchESPN average minute audience of 144,000, the second highest audience ever for an NFL game, behind only the Washington-Dallas game on Oct. 27 (145,000), The game also logged 378,000 unique viewers and 30.8 million total minutes viewed.

The average MNF game this season had a WatchESPN average minute audience of 106,000, 331,000 unique viewers and 21.6 million total minutes viewed – up 64 percent, 81 percent and 68 percent, respectively, compared to the previous season.

ESPN’s MNF Crew to Call NFL Pro Bowl in Arizona to Kickoff Super Bowl XLIX, Jan. 25

ESPN’s Monday Night Football team will conclude its 2014 NFL season on Sunday, January 25 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) with the NFL Pro Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, to kickoff Super Bowl XLIX week.


Ravens-Steelers On NBC Is 2nd Most-Watched Saturday AFC Wild Card Game In Past 20 Seasons

FNIA-nfl-nbcBaltimore’s 30-17 Victory over Rival Pittsburgh Averages 28.0 Million Viewers

NBC to Televise Baltimore at New England AFC Divisional Playoff Game This Saturday, Jan. 10; Coverage Kicks Off at 3:30 PM ET

NBC Is Home of Super Bowl XLIX Four Weeks from Today – Live Game Day Coverage from Arizona Kicks Off Sunday, Feb. 1 at Noon ET

STAMFORD, Conn. – January 4, 2015 – The Baltimore Ravens’ 30-17 road victory over their AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers in last night’s NFL Wild Card game on NBC averaged  28.0 million viewers to rank as the second most-watched Saturday AFC Wild Card game in the past 20 seasons, according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company.

Viewership for the Ravens victory, paced by Joe Flacco’s 259 passing yards and two touchdowns for a 114.0 passer rating, trails only the New York Jets’ 17-16 win over Indianapolis in Peyton Manning’s final game with the Colts in primetime on NBC on Jan. 8, 2011 (33.3 million viewers) among Saturday AFC Wild Card games in the past 20 seasons (1995-2014).

NBC’s playoff coverage continues this Saturday, Jan. 10 with the AFC Divisional Playoff as the Ravens, on a three-game road win streak in the postseason, visit the top-seeded New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The Ravens have won two of three playoff games between the clubs in Foxboro. NBC’s Divisional Playoff coverage begins with a special edition of Football Night in America at 3:30 p.m. ET.

NBC is the home of Super Bowl XLIX. Live game day coverage kicks off at Noon ET from Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 1.

The Ravens-Steelers AFC Wild Card telecast (8:15-11:15 p.m. ET) earned a 15.8 rating/27 share. Viewership peaked at 29.5 million from 9-9:30 p.m. ET.

Top 10 Metered Markets for Ravens-Steelers

1. Pittsburgh, 46.5/67
2. Baltimore, 46.0/67
3. Cincinnati, 25.4/41
4. Denver, 24.9/41
5. Las Vegas, 24.1/38
6. Seattle, 22.5/40
T7. Richmond, 22.3/33
T7. Washington D.C., 22.2/36
9. Cleveland, 22.0/32
10. Charlotte, 21.7/34

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Lions-Cowboys Clash Helps FOX Dominate NFL Wild Card Weekend

Fox-NFL-2014Opening-Round Thriller Becomes Network’s Second Most-Watched Wild Card Game Ever

Highest-Rated and Most-Watched Program Since 2014 Academy Awards

Largest Day Ever for NFL Viewership on FOX Sports GO Besides Super Bowl XLVIII

A thrilling back-and-forth contest that wasn’t decided until the final moments, Sunday afternoon’s NFC Wild Card showdown between the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys posted a 23.6 rating and drew an impressive 42.3 million viewers on FOX, making it the second most-watched NFC Wild Card game ever.

Projected to easily take the mantle as the highest-rated and most-watched NFL playoff game of the opening postseason weekend, the game saw the NFC East division-champion Cowboys score 17 unanswered points in the second half to overcome a 20-7 deficit on their home field. The broadcast peaked at 48.7 million viewers between 7:00 – 7:30 PM ET and marked the highest-rated and most-watched television program since the 2014 Academy Awards last March.

Equally impressive, was how well the game rated in the key male demographics, notching a 13.5 M18-34, a 17.9 M18-49 and 21.3 M25-54, all three the highest ratings in their respective categories across all television programming since Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX last February.

The game also performed exceptionally well in the respective home markets, registering a 43.6 in Dallas and a 43.9 in Detroit – the highest-ever rating for an NFL playoff game in the Motor City.

The broadcast streamed live on FOX Sports GO led to the largest day for total NFL consumption in the platform’s history behind only Super Bowl XLVIII.


World Series Game 1 Drives FOX to Prime Time Ratings Win

MLB ON FOX: LOGONetwork Posts Best Prime Time Tuesday Since 2012

FOX Deportes Posts Record-Breaking Viewership;

Kansas City Posts Best Local Game 1 Rating Since 2007

Kansas City – The San Francisco Giants and starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner dominated the upstart Kansas City Royals to take Game 1 of the 2014 World Series 7-1 last night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and viewership of the spectacle led FOX to dominate the night.

Game 1 of the 2014  World Series notched a 7.3/12 household rating share, with 12.2 million viewers, according to fast national figures issued today by Nielsen, and ranks as FOX’s highest-rated and most-watched prime time broadcast since an edition of AMERICAN IDOL in February.  Additional points follow:

•       From 8:05 to 11:00 PM ET, FOX averaged a 7.7/13 with 12.8 million viewers, and once final nationals are issued, it projects to win the night in prime time (A18-49) and to be the network’s best Tuesday night performance in over two-and-a-half years (Feb. 2012).

•       FOX Deportes’ coverage of World Series Game 1 averaged 273,000 total viewers, the most for a World Series game in Spanish language television history, +77% (273,000 vs. 154,000) vs. Game 1 last year, and +81% (273,000 vs. 151,000) vs. Game 1 in 2012, the last time San Francisco competed in the Fall Classic.  When viewership on FOX Deportes is combined with FOX, the total average audience for Game 1 is 12.5 million viewers, down from 14.4 million viewers for Game 1 last year, while up compared to Game 1 in 2012 (12.2 million viewers).

•       Ratings in the two competing markets were nothing short of spectacular.  Kansas City led all markets, posting a 48.2/68, the best rating for World Series Game 1 in any market since 2007, while San Francisco registered a 29.3/50.  Sacramento posted a 23.0/37, followed by St. Louis (13.3/20) and Las Vegas (11.1/19) to round out the top five.

•       Viewership for Game 1 would have greatly benefitted from a more competitive contest.  Initial tune-in was a 6.9/12 from 8:05-8:30 PM ET, with ratings peaking at 8.5/14 from 9:00-9:30 PM ET as the Royals threatened but failed to score in the home third. Ratings decreased throughout the evening as the Giants extended their lead to 7-0 and finished off with a 5.7/12 from 11:30-11:41 PM ET.

•      World Series Game 1 broke records for FOX Sports GO, reaching a new best day ever for authenticated viewership.  Yesterday’s reach outperforms the prior record-holding day (Oct. 12, 2014, Game 2 of the NLCS) by 13%.  FOX Sports GO was downloaded more yesterday than any weekday since its launch on iOS.

Live coverage of World Series Game 2 begins tonight on AMERICA’S PREGAME on FOX Sports 1 at 6:00 PM ET before shifting to Kansas City at 7:30 PM ET on the FOX broadcast network, FOX Deportes and streaming live on FOX Sports GO at 7:30 PM ET.


USA-Portugal: Most-Viewed Soccer Match Ever in U.S.

FIFA-World-Cup-2014_Logo-espnUSA-Portugal: Most-Viewed Soccer Match Ever in U.S.
  • ESPN Telecast Averages 18,220,000 Viewers and Peaks with 22,961,000 viewers
  • Match Generates WatchESPN Viewership Records
  • Most-viewed Non-Football Telecast on ESPN Ever
  • Significant Viewership Growth Over 2010 and 2006, including in All Key Demos
  • Sets Rating Record in 18 markets; Washington, D.C.; New York and San Francisco Highest-Rated Thru 32 Games
ESPN’s telecast of the United States’ 2-2 tie against Portugal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Sunday, June 22, is the most-viewed soccer match in the United States ever, across all networks, averaging 18,220,000 viewers based on a 9.6 HH US rating. It surpassed the previous high of 17,975,000 viewers for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC. Additional television highlights:
  • The telecast peaked from 7:30 to 8 p.m. ET with an average of 22,961,000 viewers and an 11.9 HH US rating.
  • The match is ESPN’s most-viewed program excluding NFL and college football telecasts.
  • While Sunday’s 9.6 HH US rating is the highest-rated men’s soccer telecast ever (topping a 9.5 for Italy vs. Brazil in the 1994 final), it is the second highest-rated soccer match overall behind an 11.4 HH US rating for 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC.
  • The first 2014 FIFA World Cup match involving the United States (a 2-1 victory over Ghana) averaged 11,093,000 viewers and a 6.3 HH US rating, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed men’s soccer match on ESPN or ESPN2 on record at the time.
In addition to setting a television viewership record, Sunday’s match also set product records on WatchESPN with a 490,000 average minute audience, and total of 1,373,000 viewers and 61,691,000 minutes viewed.
Significant Television Viewership Increases Over 2010 and 2006
Overall, ESPN’s 2014 World Cup coverage is posting significant viewership increases over 2010 and 2006. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average 4,273,000 viewers and a 2.6 HH US rating through the first 32 matches, marking increases of 50 percent and 109 percent (vs. 2,857,000 in 2010 and 2,048,000 in 2006), and 44 percent and 86 percent (vs. 1.8 in 2010 and 1.4 in 2006), respectively.
In addition, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have posted significant audience increases in every key people and male demographic, highlighted by double-digit growth in the 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 categories.
WatchESPN Growth Over 2010
WatchESPN has averaged 259,000 viewers in the average minute across 32 World Cup matches, which represents a six percent lift over the ESPN Networks’ English language TV audience for a total of 4,533,000 viewers across TV and WatchESPN.
In addition, WatchESPN has posted a 158 percent increase in viewers and 167 percent in minutes through the first 32 games, averaging 759,000 viewers and 33,319,000 minutes viewed per match.
Success beyond USA Matches
In addition to Sunday’s record telecast, ESPN tied the record for the highest-rated World Cup match not involving the United States on ESPN or ESPN2, averaging a 3.4 US HH rating and 5,735,000 viewers for Germany vs. Ghana on Saturday, June 21 (tied with the 2006 Italy vs. Germany semifinal). Overall, the 2014 World Cup coverage has delivered six of the highest-rated and most-viewed Group Play matches not involving a United States team on ESPN and ESPN2.
Metered Markets
Washington, D.C., led all markets for ESPN’s USA vs. Portugal telecast with a 13.3 rating, followed by Columbus (12.6), New York (12.5), Boston (11.5), Hartford/New Haven (11.3), Providence (11.2), Atlanta (11.1), Baltimore (11.0), Norfolk (10.5), Orlando (10.5) and Sacramento (10.5).
Eighteen markets recorded their highest overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2, including seven that were among the top 10 largest for the telecast: Columbus, Boston, Hartford/New Haven, Providence, Atlanta, Baltimore and Sacramento. The additional 11, ordered by highest rating: Kansas City (10.1), Dayton (8.9), St. Louis (8.7), Jacksonville (8.4), Tampa/St. Petersburg (8.3), Nashville (7.8), Greenville (7.6), Greensboro (7.5), Memphis (7.5), Pittsburgh (6.9) and Birmingham (5.8).
Overall, Washington, D.C., continues to lead all markets for matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the first 32 games with a 5.0 average rating, followed by New York (4.3), San Francisco (4.1), Orlando (3.8), Los Angeles (3.7), Hartford/New Haven (3.7), Atlanta (3.6), San Diego (3.5), Boston (3.5), West Palm Beach (3.5) and Richmond (3.5).
Upcoming ESPN World Cup Coverage
ESPN’s FIFA World Cup coverage continues this week with two matches at 11:30 a.m. and two at 3:30 p.m. each day from today through the completion of Group Play on Thursday, June 26. The match for the United States (against Germany) airs on Thursday, June 26, at 11:30 a.m. (on ESPN).
ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the tournament includes all 64 matches televised live on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, as well as 54 matches on ESPN Deportes and another 10 on ESPN Deportes+.  ABC’s matches will also available on WATCH ABC. Schedule.