55.9 Million Viewers Tune Into NFC Championship Game on FOX

fox-nflNew York, NY – In a back and forth NFC Championship game that lived up to the hype, the Seattle Seahawks punched their ticket to Super Bowl XLVIII with a victory over the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers, and delivered huge audience numbers for FOX Sports.  Yesterday’s 23-17 Seahawks win scored a 28.5/44 national household rating/share according to Nielsen Media Research, with 55.9 million viewers tuning in, +18% in rating over last year’s match-up between San Francisco and Atlanta (24.2/45), while average audience is +33% (42.0 million).  Additional highlights follow:

  • Sunday’s game ranks as the FOX’s highest-rated non-overtime NFC Championship Game since 1997 (30.1/58, Carolina-Green Bay), and is the most-watched non-overtime NFC Championship Game since 1995 (Dallas – San Francisco, 56.8 million viewers).
  • Punctuated by last night’s game, all four NFL on FOX playoff games this season posted year-to-year increases in rating and viewership.
  • Sunday’s game opened with 47.4 million viewers tuning in and gradually swelled to 60.3 million as Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman tipped a potential touchdown pass intended for 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree into what amounted to a game-ending interception.
  • The complete 2014 NFL Playoffs on FOX averaged a 23.1/40, with 42.0 million viewers, +13% in rating and +18% in audience over last year (20.5/36, 35.7 million).
  • Seattle led all markets with a huge 54.3/85, followed by San Francisco (47.5/78); Sacramento (46.7/72); Portland (39.5/63); and Milwaukee (38.9/57) to round out the top five.

CBS Sports Earns Second Highest Viewer Average For AFC Championship Game In 32 Years With 51.3 Million

cbs-1Household Rating is Second Highest for AFC Championship Game in 17 Years with 28.1/51

CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2014 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP game featuring the  Denver Broncos defeating the New England Patriots on Sunday, Jan. 19 (3:06-6:08 PM, ET) averaged 51.3 million viewers (Persons 2+), which is the second-highest viewer average for the AFC Championship game in 32 years, according to Nielsen fast national ratings. (1/10/82; 51.6 million viewers; Cincinnati-San Diego; NBC).

The 51.3 million viewers for the 2014 AFC Championship game is up 22% from the early-game window last year (42.0 million; San Francisco-Atlanta), and up 8% from last year’s 47.7 million for Baltimore-New England, which aired in the late window. The 51.3 million is behind only the New York Jets-Pittsburgh AFC Championship game (1/23/11; 54.9 million; CBS).

The AFC CHAMPIONSHIP game earned a fast-national live + same-day average household rating/share of 28.1/51, which is the second highest rating for the AFC Championship game in 17 years (1/12/97; 28.5/47; Jacksonville-New England; NBC).  The 28.1/51 is behind only the New York Jets-Pittsburgh game (1/23/11; 28.3/43; CBS).

The 28.1/51 is up 16 % from the early-game window last year (24.2/45; San Francisco-Atlanta), and up 10% from last year’s 25.5/39 for Baltimore-New England, which aired in the late window).

The AFC CHAMPIONSHIP game HH rating/share peaked at a 31.5/54 with an average of 59.1 million viewers from 5:30-6:00 PM, ET.


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2014 NFL Playoff Games on FOX Rank as Most-Watched NFL Postseason Ever

fox-nfl2014 NFL PLAYOFF GAMES ON FOX RANK AS MOST-WATCHED NFL POSTSEASON EVER – The 2014 NFL Playoffs on FOX is the network’s most-watched ever after three games, averaging 37.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, eclipsing the network’s previous high of 36.5 million viewers set in 2012.  The three-game average household rating, 21.3/39, is +11% versus 2013 (19.2/34) and ranks as the network’s highest-rated NFL postseason since 1997 (21.5/44).

Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks posted an 18.1/34 household rating/share with 31.1 million viewers, as NFL ratings continue to surge.  Saturday’s early game rating is up +7% over last year’s NFC divisional game (16.9/27) between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers played in prime time.  Additional highlights for Saturday’s NFC divisional matchup include:

-Second highest-rated Saturday NFC divisional game on FOX since 1999 (No. 1 is 22.2/42 was set in 1996);

-Third most-watched Saturday divisional game on FOX ever;

-New Orleans led all markets with a 51.1/74 followed by Seattle which registered a 48.4/82;

-Audience peaked at 36.5 million viewers from 7:00-7:30pm ET.

Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers posted a 19.9/41 household rating/share with 33.3 million viewers.  Yesterday’s game is +3% compared to last year’s 19.3/38 and +11% compared to 32.1 million viewers in 2013 which pit the Seattle Seahawks against the Atlanta Falcons.  Additional highlights from yesterday’s NFC divisional showdown include:

-Third consecutive broadcast in 2014 in which FOX posted year-to-year gains;

-First time that the NFC playoff games on FOX have exceeded 31.0 million viewers for each of its first three games;

-Charlotte led all markets with a 42.1/70 followed by Sacramento 38.5/70, Greensboro 36.8/56 and San Francisco 35.8/74;

-Audience peaked at 38.6 million viewers at 3:30pm ET.

Source: Nielsen Media Research

2014 BCS National Championship Averages 15.7 Overnight Rating

espn-logoFive-Game Combined Average for BCS Bowls Up 10 Percent from 2013
ESPN’s “BCS Megacast” coverage of the VIZIO BCS National Championship – No. 1 Florida State over No. 2 Auburn 34-31 on Monday, Jan. 6 – averaged a 15.7 overnight rating across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS (the additional eight production variations do not receive overnights). The ESPN-only telecast averaged a 15.3 overnight rating.
This metered-market rating – the highest for all of cable television since the January 2013 BCS National Championship on ESPN – helped drive the network’s five-game BCS average to a 9.9 metered market rating, marking a 10 percent increase over a 9.0 rating for last year’s five games. The game was also the highest-rated program on Monday, helping ESPN win the night among all networks.
Birmingham led all markets for the telecast with a 55.8 rating, marking the third highest-rated bowl game on ESPN in the market behind the 2011 and 2012 BCS Championships. Jacksonville was the second highest-rated market with a 31.1 rating followed by Knoxville (26.6), Atlanta (25.8), Orlando (24.9), Tampa-St. Petersburg (24.2), Memphis (24.1), Greenville (24.0), Nashville (23.5) and Charlotte (22.2). In addition to being among the top 10 markets, the title matchup was also the highest-rated bowl on ESPN in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg. All market records date to 2000.
ESPN’s telecast of the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship was the biggest production of a college football game to date with a different viewing option across six of its television platforms as well as audio and digital outlets. The “BCS Megacast” presentation featured multiple ESPN personalities, and guest coaches, players and celebrities for coverage across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN International.
ESPNU will offer an encore presentation of the “BCS Film Room” option from ESPNEWS today at 4 p.m. ET. The telecast featured Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Pitt coach Paul Chryst and Boston College coach Steve Addazio as well as ESPN analysts Matt Millen, Chris Spielman and Tom Luginbill providing in-depth X and O analysis of the game as it happened from a film room equipped with multiple camera angles and touchscreens.

Wild Card Weekend Most-Watched Ever; 49ers-Packers On FOX Most-Watched Wild Card Game All-Time


This weekend delivered historic games – three of the four Wild Card games were decided by three points or fewer, only the second time in NFL postseason history in which three teams won by three points or fewer in the same weekend (2006 Divisional).  And fans tuned in in record numbers!

The four Wild Card games averaged 34.7 million viewers making this the most-watched Wild Card Weekend on record.  For the fourth consecutive season, the four Wild Card Playoff games averaged more than 30 million viewers.

Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers-Green Bay Packers game on FOX drew 47.1 million viewers ranking as the most-watched telecast since Super Bowl XLVII (108.4 million, Feb. 3, 2013) and the most-watched Wild Card game on record topping the 2011 AFC Wild Card on CBS, Steelers-Broncos, 42.4 million) and 2010 NFC Wild Card on FOX (Packers-Eagles, 39.3 million).

The two Wild Card games on Sunday (San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals on CBS, followed by 49ers-Packers) averaged 38.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched Wild Card Sunday in at least 20 years.

NBC’s “Wild Card Saturday” was the most-watched Wild Card Saturday ever, averaging 30.8 million viewers.  New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles is the most-watched Wild Card Saturday game ever, averaging 34.4 million viewers.

The four games were also the four most-watched shows on television last week (chart below).

Most-Watched Shows on Television, Week of Dec. 30, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014


Program                                                                       Average Viewers
1. FOX Wild Card Playoff (49ers-Packers)      47.1 million
2. NBC Wild Card Playoff (Saints-Eagles)             34.4 million
3. CBS Wild Card Playoff (Chargers-Bengals)            30.9 million
4. NBC Wild Card Playoff (Chiefs-Colts)    27.6 million
5. The Big Bang Theory 19.2 million
6. 2014 Rose Bowl (Stanford-Michigan State) 18.6 million
7. 2014 Sugar Bowl (Oklahoma-Alabama) 16.3 million
8. New Years Rockin’ Eve 12.2 million
9. 2014 Orange Bowl (Clemson-Ohio State) 11.4 million
10. The Millers 11.3 million


Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company, Fast National Data

“NFL ON CBS” AFC Wildcard Playoff Game Scores Highest Rating In 19 Years

NFL-CBSTHE NFL ON CBS’s broadcast of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game featuring the San Diego Chargers win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Jan. 5 (1:00-4:15 PM, ET) scored an average overnight household rating/share of 20.3/38 which is the highest rating in 19 years for an early Sunday AFC Wild Card game in the metered markets (21.9/47; New England-Cleveland;  1/1/95; NBC).

Yesterday’s 20.3/38 overnight rating for the Chargers-Bengals game is up 3% from last year’s 19.7/39 (Indianapolis-Baltimore; 1:00-4:15 PM, ET).

The game rating peaked with a 23.7/41 from 4:00-4:15 PM, ET.

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Monday Night Football’s Patriots-Panthers Telecast Helps ESPN Win the Night among All Networks

2011 -- ESPN Monday Night Football logoThis week’s Monday Night Football telecast – a Carolina Panthers’ 24-20 victory over the New England Patriots – helped ESPN win the night among all networks (broadcast or cable) among households and viewers as well as in all key male and adult demos. The MNF game ranked as the top telecast of the night across cable and broadcast in those same categories.

The Patriots-Panthers telecast earned a 9.9 US rating, representing an average of 11,480,000 households and 15,772,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen. Coverage peaked from 11:15-11:30 p.m. with a 11.6 US rating.

The 9.9 U.S. rating for the Patriots at Panthers game is up 25 percent from last season’s corresponding Monday Night Football – 7.9 US rating for Chicago at San Francisco on November 19, 2012.

In Boston, the game delivered a 12.0 rating on ESPN and a 24.1 on WCVB-WMUR-ABC, for a combined 36.1 rating in the market. In Charlotte, the game delivered a 17.5 rating on ESPN and a 20.3 on WSOC-ABC, for a combined 37.8 rating in the market.

The top 10 metered markets (in addition to the markets of the competing teams) were Providence, R.I., (25.9), Greensboro, N.C., (22.9), New Orleans (18.9), Las Vegas (17.0), Greenville, N.C., (16.8), San Diego (15.8), Raleigh-Durham (14.9), Tampa-St. Petersburg (14.8), Seattle-Tacoma (14.5), and Ft. Myers-Naples (14.4).

Through 11 weeks (12 games), ESPN’s MNF is averaging an 8.5 US rating, 9,795,000 households and 13,359,000 viewers in 2013, up in ratings and audience by two percent versus the same period in 2012.

NFL on ESPN Digital Platforms

ESPN Digital Media’s NFL content across all platforms – ESPN.com, mobile Web, apps and WatchESPN –continues to log significant growth, generating an average minute audience of 542,000 during telecasts, an increase of 19 percent compared to the same time period last season.  Specifically, last night’s Patriots vs. Panthers game was the second-best game ever on WatchESPN logging 15.7 million live minutes, 230,000 unique viewers, and an average minute audience of 82,000, up 222 percent, 183 percent and 208 percent respectively compared to a year ago.  Season to date, Monday Night Football on WatchESPN is averaging 181,000 unique viewers (up 105 percent), 12.7 million live minutes (up 143 percent) and an average minute audience of 64,000 (up 141 percent) per game.

Additionally, season to date on Sundays, ESPN Digital Media’s average minute audience across all platforms is 561,000 users, up 12 percent compared to the same time period the previous year.  Other highlights:

·         Mobile apps logged the largest growth on Sunday, with the ScoreCenter app generating an average minute audience of 144,000 (up 53 percent) and 7.5 million unique visitors (up 2 percent) while the ESPN Fantasy Football app logged an average minute audience of 175,000 (up 106 percent) and 4.1 million unique visitors (up 55 percent).

This Week on MNF

ESPN’s MNF returns this week on November 25 with Colin Kaerpernick and the San Francisco 49ers visiting the Washington Redskins, led by Robert Griffin III, 8:30 p.m. ET.


Major League Baseball On FOX A Grand Slam in 2013; Fall Classic Rating and Audience +17% from 2012

MLB-on-FoxAnchored by World Series, Regional Sports Networks & Jewel Events

All Demonstrate Growth

Fall Classic Rating and Audience +17% from 2012

New York – The 2013 World Series is in the books, with the Boston Red Sox winning baseball’s ultimate prize at home for the first time in 95 years, and the only thing hotter than MVP Big Papi’s bat was Major League Baseball’s season-long performance for FOX Sports anchored by the Fall Classic’s dominant performance.

“This baseball season has been a tremendous success across the board for FOX Sports, and 2014 can’t get here soon enough,” said FOX Sports President and COO Eric Shanks.  “Our postseason coverage saw a 26% jump year-to-year, while ratings for the All-Star Game grew, we posted solid numbers at FOX Deportes and several of our regional sports networks had record-setting seasons and dominated prime time from April through September.  Next season will bring MLB to FOX Sports 1 and with it hours of studio coverage and original programs.”

The 2013 World Series averaged an 8.9/15 national household rating and 14.9 million viewers, +17% in rating and viewership over last year (7.6/12, 12.7 million viewers), according to Nielsen Media Research.  The 2013 World Series also posted impressive double-digit increases across key male and adults demographics over 2012, including Men 18-34 (+18%, 4.7 vs. 4.0); Men 18-49 (+13%, 5.3 vs. 4.7); Adults 18-49 (+17%, 4.2 vs. 3.6) and Adults 18-34 (+16%, 3.7 vs. 3.2).

FOX’s coverage of Series-clinching Game 6 delivered a Series-high 11.3/18 national household rating and share, with 19.2 million viewers watching as the Red Sox captured their eighth World Series.  Game 6, the highest rated baseball game since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, easily won the night in prime for FOX among households (11.2/18), notching the network’s highest-rated primetime broadcast of the season, best Wednesday night since May 2012 and the highest-rated prime time broadcast on FOX since January.  Last week, the first four games of the World Series led the network to its first weekly prime time win this season, ranking No. 1 in Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, Teens and Total Viewers.

Game 6 was the highest-rated game of the Series for FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish language sports network, delivering 277,000 total viewers.  It was the most-watched game on FOX Deportes since Game 2 of the 2009 World Series.  The 2013 World Series was also +98% for A18-49 (128,000 vs. 64,000) vs. FOX Deportes’ inaugural year of World Series coverage in 2001.

Growth in World Series viewership comes after a 23% increase in household rating for FOX’s ALCS coverage, which averaged a 4.9/9 compared to last year’s NLCS coverage on FOX (4.0/7) and was FOX’s best LCS average since 2010.  Over the entire 2013 ALCS, the important Men 18-34 demo average rose 33% compared to 2012, while other key demographics also notched double digit increases, including Men 18-49 (+27%), Adults 18-34 (+13%) and Adults 18-49 (+17%).

The 2013 MLB All-Star Game posted a 6.9/12 household rating, with 11 million viewers, +1% over last year’s 6.8/12 and 10.9 million viewers.  This year marks the first time since 2001 that all of MLB’s jewel events – All-Star Game, Division Series, both League Championship Series and World Series – posted year to year audience increases.

Locally, FOX Sports regional sports networks recorded its highest-rated season ever, averaging a 3.94 household rating, a 7% increase over 2012.  In fact, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports KC, Sportstime Ohio, FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports North, Sun Sports, FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Wisconsin all ranked No. 1 among all cable outlets in prime time during the 2013 MLB season.

More World Series Game 6 Highlights:


-       Boston led all markets with a massive 55.2/75, the best MLB rating in the market since Game 4 of the 2007 World Series.

-       Boston peaked with a 59.5/84 from 11:00 -11:30 PM ET during the Fenway Park on-field celebration.  Red Sox hub Providence followed with a 44.1/61.

-       St. Louis delivered a 37.9/55 followed by Hartford (27.8/41), Fort Myers (16.6/27), Kansas City (14.4/23), Tampa (13.4/21), Memphis (13.3/19), Las Vegas (13.0/22), and Richmond (12.9/22) to round out the top 10.

-       For the six-game series, St. Louis was the top metered market averaging 40.6/60 while Boston came in at 39.6/60.

-       According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, World Series Game 6 was the most social program of the day with 1.6 million tweets from 623,000 unique authors.  The 2013 World Series drew 4.3 million tweets, up 86% from the 2012 World Series and more than three times the number of tweets compared to the 2011 World Series.

-       According to Facebook, the 2013 World Series generated 32 million interactions from 11 million users. The Red Sox won the team buzz battle 62% to 38% over the Cardinals during the six-game series. World Series MVP David Ortiz was the most buzzed about player with nearly four times the comments, likes, and posts compared to any other player.

2013 World Series on FOX Continues Impressive Prime Time Performance

MLB-on-FoxHighest-Rated and Most-Watched Game 4 Since 2009

Series Ratings Average Up 11% from 2012

St. Louis, MO – The 2013 World Series on FOX last night continued its trend of upward ratings and wild finishes. Game 4 of the 2013 World Series posted its highest-rated and most-watched game of the series delivering a 9.4/15 national household rating and 16 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 6% in rating and 3% in viewership over last year’s series clinching Game 4 (8.9/14, 15.5 million viewers). Last night’s broadcast ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched World Series Game 4 since 2009.

FOX is projected to win the night in prime time (7:00 PM -11:00 PM) among households and post its highest-rated primetime broadcast since the premiere of American Idol in January.  The World Series is also projected to power FOX to its first weekly primetime victory for the broadcast season in Adults 18-49.

Through four games, the 2013 World Series on FOX is averaging an 8.4/14 national household rating and 14 million viewers, up 11% in rating and 10% in viewership over last year’s 7.6/12 and 12.7 million viewers.  The network’s 10 game postseason average of 6.2/11 (10.2 million viewers) is up 15% from 2012’s 5.4/9 (8.8 million viewers) and ranks as FOX’s best postseason since 2010 (6.6/12 – 11.1 million viewers).

According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, FOX was the No. 1 most social TV network on Sunday. Twitter activity for last night’s World Series Game 4 drew over 479,000 tweets from more than 227,000 unique authors. According to Facebook, World Series Game 4 generated 4.2 million interactions from 2.4 million users during the game. Massachusetts topped Missouri in generating buzz, followed by users in California, Illinois, and New York.  Team buzz tilted in favor of Boston, with 60% of the comments, likes, and posts about the game related to the Red Sox.

St. Louis led all markets with a 46.7/66 followed by Boston’s 34.7/55. Providence (30.7/47), Hartford (20.2/32), Kansas City (14.2/23), Las Vegas (13.8/21), Richmond (13.4/20), Memphis (13.1/18), Fort Myers (12.9/21) and Phoenix (12.4/21) round out the top ten markets.

Coverage of Game 5 begins Monday, Oct. 28 on FOX Sports 1, with a special World Series edition of FOX Sports LIVE at 7:00 PM ET.  Pregame coverage turns to FOX broadcast network at 7:30 PM ET from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO.

Cardinals Strike Back & Propel World Series on FOX; Series Viewership Up 13% Over 2012

MLB-on-FoxGame 2 Viewership Up 9%; Series Up 13% Over 2012

Network Wins Second Consecutive Night in Primetime

New York, NY – A World Series sweep is not in the cards for the Red Sox this time as St. Louis ends Boston’s nine-game winning streak in the Fall Classic and sets the stage for more exciting action from St. Louis.

World Series Game 2 on FOX scored an 8.3/14 national household rating/share and averaged 13.4 million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research. Last night’s game is up 6% in rating and 9% in viewership over last year’s 7.8/12 (12.3 million viewers).

Last night’s game powered the network to a first place finish in primetime television for the second consecutive night, averaging an 8.3/14 from 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. It is FOX’s best Thursday night since the American Idol finale in May and won the night in many key demographics including Men 18-34 (3.6), Men 18-49 (4.5), Adults 18-34 (2.9) and Adults 18-49 (3.6). World Series Game 1 and 2 mark the first time that FOX has won primetime on consecutive nights since two-night American Idol finale episodes in May.


World Series Game 2 opened with a 6.3/11 and grew steadily through the exciting contest and peaked from 10:00 – 10:30 PM ET posting a 9.6/15 as 15.6 million viewers watched the Cardinals rally to even the series.


Through Games 1 & 2, the World Series in FOX is averaging an 8.5/14 and 13.9  million viewers nationally, up 10% in rating and 13% in viewership over last year’s 7.7/12 (12.3 million viewers). FOX’s LCS/World Series postseason average is up 16% from 2012 (5.7/10, 6 ALCS, 2 WS games) vs. (4.9/8, 7 NLCS, 2 WS games).


While the Cardinals won the game, the Red Sox won the social media battle on Facebook.  According to Facebook, Game 2 generated 4.7 million interactions from 2.7 million users.  Red Sox fans were responsible for 58% of the comments, likes and posts, compared to 42% buzz from Cardinals fans.  Men 25-34 and Men 35-44 led all demos.  There have been more than 11 million interactions on Facebook related to the World Series through Games 1 and 2.

According to figures released by Nielsen SocialGuide, Twitter activity for last night’s World Series Game 2 saw impressive increases over 2012. The game drew over 452,000 tweets (up 63% from 2012 World Series Game 2) from more than 222,000 unique authors (up 52%) and was the No. 1 social telecast of the night in all categories.

St. Louis led all markets with a 42.0/61, its best MLB postseason rating since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, followed by Boston’s 37.3/57. Providence (33.8/49), Hartford (21.1/32), Kansas City (13.9/22), Fort Myers (12.3/19), Richmond (11.7/18), Memphis (11.0/16), Detroit (10.0/16), and Greensboro (9.8/14) round out the top ten markets for Thursday night’s broadcast.

Coverage of Game 3 begins Saturday, Oct. 26 from Busch Stadium in St. Louis at 7:30 PM ET on FOX.