Thursday, November 9, 2017

ESPN Ratings

"Nature Boy" 30 for 30 on Ric Flair Averaged 1.8 Million Viewers; Highest Rated Cable Program for 18-49 Demo
ESPN spins the numbers for Tuesday, November 7.
[via press release from ESPN] "Nature Boy" 30 for 30 on Ric Flair Averaged 1.8 Million Viewers; Highest Rated Cable Program for 18-49 Demo

ESPN Films' "Nature Boy" 30 for 30 documentary, which premiered Tuesday night, averaged 1.8 million viewers according to Nielsen, a 78% increase from ESPN's 2017 30 for 30 premieres to date (1.0 million). The film on wrestling legend Ric Flair was the highest rated original show on cable that night for adults 18-49. Additionally, "Nature Boy" was the most social program of the day with 238k Twitter interactions.

"The response to the film has been overwhelming," says 30 for 30 Executive Producer John Dahl. "The viewership totals just drive home the enormous interest that exists in Ric Flair's life story, regardless of whether you're a wrestling fan."

"Nature Boy" ranks as the most-viewed film since last year's post-Heisman offering, "Catholics vs. Convicts" (2.1 million viewers). 

College Football Week 10: ESPN Airs Second-Highest Game across All Networks, Top Game on Cable
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, November 4.

[via press release from ESPN]
     College Football Week 10: ESPN Airs Second-Highest Game across All Networks, Top Game on Cable
· Ohio State at Iowa on ESPN:
· Cable and Broadcast's Highest-Rated Game Across All Networks in Competitive Late Afternoon Window

· Beats FS1's Airing of Bedlam Game by 47% Head-to-Head
· ESPN, ABC, and ESPN2: Up Year-Over-Year in Majority of Game Windows
· ESPN and ABC: Air Four of Top 7 Highest-Rated Games Across All Networks
ESPN aired the second highest-rated game of week 10 across all networks while simultaneously delivering the top-rated game across all broadcast and cable in the competitive late afternoon time slot and the top game on cable in week 10 overall, beating FS1's telecast of the Bedlam game by nearly 50%. ESPN also experienced year-over-year increases in the majority of its game windows, as did ABC and ESPN2. Across the entire slate, ESPN and ABC combined to air four of the seven highest-rated games across all networks.

Hawkeyes Upset of Buckeyes Earns Second Best Rating of Week 10, No. 1 on Cable
Ohio State at Iowa (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) delivered a 2.5 overnight, the second best rating of the week across all networks and the highest-rated game on cable of the week. The Hawkeyes upset of the Buckeyes is up 56% for ESPN from last season's comparable window (Maryland at Michigan) and, yesterday, beat FS1 by 47% in that same time slot (Oklahoma at Oklahoma State).
Saturday Night Football Among Week's Top Games, Beats FOX Head-to-Head

Led by the Hawkeyes-Buckeyes game, ESPN and ABC combined to air four of the top seven games across all networks, including ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Virginia Tech at Miami (8 p.m). The Hokies-Hurricanes matchup earned a 2.2, beating Fox' Big Ten game head-to-head in prime time by 22%. The win keeps the Hurricanes unbeaten, setting up a monster week 11 Saturday Night Football matchup: No. 3 Notre Dame vs. undefeated Miami (8-0).

Additional ESPN Week 10 Highlights:
· Clemson at NC State (3:30 p.m., ABC): 2.0 rating, an increase of 11% from the comparable ABC window last season (regional action: Syracuse at Clemson or Oklahoma State at Kansas State).
· Wisconsin at Indiana (Noon, ABC): 1.9 overnight, up 6% from the 2016 comparable window (Wisconsin at Northwestern)

· Auburn at Texas A&M (Noon, ESPN): 1.6 rating, an increase of 23% from last year's similar window (Vanderbilt at Auburn).

· Arizona at USC (10:45 p.m., ESPN): 1.3 overnight, beating FS1's final game window of day by 117%

· Texas at TCU (7 p.m., ESPN): 1.2 overnight, up 9% year-over-year (Oregon at USC)

· ESPN2: The network's noon (Florida at Missouri) and 3:30 p.m. windows (Iowa State at West Virginia) saw a ratings increase of 20% and 33% year-over-year, respectively, while its Friday night telecast (Memphis at Tulsa) was up 25% year-over-year.


ABC's "Saturday Night Football": Michigan State at Michigan Is Highest-Rated Game of Week 6 Across All Networks
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, October 7.

[via press release from ESPN]
     ABC'S Saturday Night Football: Michigan State at Michigan is Highest-Rated Game of Week 6 Across All Networks

· SNF Beats Fox by 179% in Prime Time, Grows Year-Over-Year Audience
· Detroit Earns Second Best Local Rating on Record for the Spartans-Wolverines Matchup on ESPN/ABC

· Alabama at Texas A&M: ESPN's Highest-Rated Saturday Game in 2017 Season
ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Michigan State at Michigan (7:30 p.m. ET) earned a 3.9 Nielsen overnight, the highest-rated college football game of week 6 across all networks. The overnight for the Big Ten rivalry game was 179% higher than Fox's prime time game and 95% and 86%, respectively, higher than Fox's afternoon games, while also earning a 44% better rating than CBS.

For the sixth time in the six weeks of the college football season, Saturday Night Football will be the most-watched prime time game of the week when viewership is reported on Tuesday. Additional highlights:
· SNF Ratings Grow: The Spartans' 14-10 victory is up 22% from last year's Saturday Night Football contest. Now, six weeks into the season, the franchise has seen year-over-year increases in five of those weeks.
  
· Michigan's Last Minute Drive Peaks Ratings: As Michigan drove for a potential game-winning touchdown, the rating peaked for the game at a 5.5 overnight (11-11:15 p.m.)

· Detroit Tunes In: Detroit was the No. 1 local market, with an impressive 28.4 rating. The local number is the market's second best on record for a Michigan State-Michigan matchup on an ESPN network, trailing only the 2013 matchup (29.2) The complete top 5 local markets for the 2017 game are:
Rank Rating Market
1 28.4 Detroit
2 16.1 Columbus
3 9.2 Dayton
4 6.1 Cincinnati
5 6.0 Cleveland
ESPN Leads the Way on Cable; Alabama-Texas A&M Ties as Second Highest Game Across All Networks

Alabama at Texas A&M (7:15 p.m.) drew a 2.7 Nielsen overnight, tying as both the second-highest overnight of the week across all networks and as the best overnight for an SEC game in week 6. The overnight for the Crimson Tide victory outdrew all seven games on Fox Sports networks in week 6 and was ESPN's best overnight for a Saturday game this season (22 games). The matchup was also up 13% from last year's similar game, which featured Alabama at Arkansas.

Led by the Crimson Tide-Aggies, all four games that aired on ESPN on Saturday were the highest-rated cable games of week 6. Miami at FSU (3:30 p.m. on ESPN), earned a 2.0 Nielsen rating for the game and peaked at a 3.9 Nielsen overnight as the Hurricanes were driving and scored the game winning touchdown (7:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.). Georgia vs. Vanderbilt (noon on ESPN) earned a 1.3 overnight, up 30% from last year's similar game (Auburn vs. Mississippi State) and Cal vs. Washington earned a 1.1 overnight, flat with last year's same game (Washington State vs. Stanford).
ESPN announced a new reporting system, which began on Sept. 25. More details are here.
Local ratings date back to 2001

College Football Week 5: ABC's "Saturday Night Football" Earns Best Overnight of the Week
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, September 30.

[via press release from ESPN] College Football Week 5: ABC's "Saturday Night Football" Earns Best Overnight of the Week; ESPN's Networks Deliver Five of Six Highest-Rated Games and Top 6 on Cable
· SNF Outpaces Fox by 67% in Prime Time on Saturday
· USC-Washington State: Cable's Highest Overnight of the Week, Among ESPN'S Best Friday Night Games on Record

· Cougars Victory Delivers a Seattle Local Market Record
· Vanderbilt-Florida: ESPN's Highest-Rated Afternoon Game of the Season
ESPN's Networks earned college football highest ratings in week 5, according to Nielsen overnights, as ABC televised the highest-rated game of the week and ESPN/ABC combined for five of the six highest rated games of the week across all networks. On cable, ESPN's networks once again set the pace, delivering the six highest overnights among all networks.

ABC's Saturday Night Football Continues Season Trend
ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Clemson at Virginia Tech (8 p.m.) earned a 3.0 overnight, the best among all networks in week 5. The premier college football franchise's overnight outpaced Fox' primetime game by 67% and CBS' afternoon game by 15%. As a result, SNF is projected to be the most-watched prime time game of the week for the fifth time in the five weeks of the college football season.

Friday Night Lights: USC-Washington State Third Best Overnight Among All Networks in Week 5; Impressive Local Ratings in Seattle and Los Angeles

ESPN's Friday night matchup featuring USC at Washington State (10:30 p.m.) earned a 2.2 overnight, cable's best overnight of week five and the third best overnight among all networks in week 5. Additional highlights:
· Pac-12 Delivers in Late Night Window: In consecutive years, ESPN has now televised two of the three highest-rated late night Friday night games (9 p.m. start or later) on record as the Trojans-Cougars matchup joins Stanford at Washington (2.4 overnight) last season in the top 3*.
· Seattle Sets New Cougars Record: Seattle earned a 9.0 local rating, the No. 1 market for the game and the market's best for a Washington State game on ESPN. Los Angeles was the second highest rated market, earning a 6.0, the market's best ever for a Friday night game on ESPN. The complete top 5:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 9.0 Seattle
2 6.1 Los Angeles
3 5.7 Birmingham
4 4.6 Portland
5 3.6 Oklahoma City

· Strong Ratings throughout Second Half: The dramatic game held the audience well, as the final five quarter hours (12:45- 1 a.m., 1-1:15 a.m., 1:15- 1:30 a.m., 1:30-1:45 a.m., and 1:45-2 a.m.) each earned a 2.1 rating.

· Doubleheader on ESPN Dominates the Night: Miami at Duke (7 p.m.), also on ESPN, led into the Pac-12 showdown, with the ACC matchup earning a 1.3 overnight. The overnight for the Pac-12 game was 633% and the ACC game was 333% better than FS1 single game on Friday night.
ESPN Leads the Way on Cable, See Growth in Multiple Windows

Led by the Trojans-Cougars, ESPN's networks earned the six highest overnights among cable networks in week 5, including earning its best afternoon overnight of the season with Vanderbilt-Florida earning a 2.0 overnight. The overnight for the Commodores-Gators matchup is up 43% over last year's comparable game (Notre Dame at Syracuse) and had a better overnight than both games on Fox.

Ole Miss at Alabama earned a 1.6 overnight and Mississippi State at Auburn had a 1.4 overnight, rounding out the SEC tripleheader on ESPN. The Rebels-Crimson Tide game was up 100% over last year's late night ESPN game (Arizona at UCLA).

Of note, Troy at LSU (7 p.m.) on ESPNU earned a 0.4 rating, tied for the eighth best rating on an ESPN cable network this week, but matches the best overnight on FS1 for the week.
Please note: Florida State at Wake Forest (2.1), and Northwestern at Wisconsin (2.0) on ABC, in addition to the aforementioned games, were among the top rated games of the weekend.
*Boise State at Nevada on Nov. 26, 2010 earned a 3.5 overnight, the best Friday night late night game on ESPN on record

US Open Women's Final: Overnight Rating for Match Up 36%, ESPN's Best Ever
ESPN further spins the numbers for Saturday, September 9.

[via press release from ESPN] US Open Women's Final: Overnight Rating for Match up 36%, ESPN's Best Ever
· Total Streaming Viewers Soared 71% for Battle of Young American Women
Saturday's US Open Women's Championship on ESPN - a battle of young American women in which unseeded Sloane Stephens convincingly triumphed over No. 15 Madison Key 6-3, 6-0 - earned a 1.9 overnight rating in the metered markets for the match portion of the three-hour telecast, 36% higher than last year's women's final from New York. It was the highest overnight rating for the match in the three years ESPN has held exclusivity for the US Open - first ball to last ball coverage. (Notably, because of the hurricane, tennis strongholds Miami and Ft. Myers are not included.)

The rating for the match peaked at its conclusion, the crowning of a new Major champion. From 5:15 - 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN earned a 2.2 rating.

The highest-rated markets were Norfolk-Portsmoutth-Newport News (3.3), Washington, DC (3.2), Birmingham (2.9), West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce (2.8), and New York (2.7).
In fact, the match out-rated two college football games on Saturday on Fox: Nebraska-Oregon and, in prime time, Stanford-USC.

The three components of streaming the match were also significantly higher than previously. The total number of unique viewers was up 71%, the total minutes watched was up 15% and the average minute audience was up 38% to a new high for 2015-17.

ESPN's Total Average Audience for US Open up 11% after 11 Days
The total average audience for ESPN's exclusive coverage of the US Open from New York through Thursday, Sept. 7, was up 11% to 952,000 viewers on average, compared to 856,000 for the first 11 days of last year's event. The increase includes a 50% rise in the audience for streaming.

ABC's "Saturday Night Football" - Oklahoma at Ohio State: 5.3 Overnight, the Highest of Week 2 Across All Networks
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, September 9.

[via press release from ESPN]
     ABC's "Saturday Night Football" - Oklahoma at Ohio State: 5.3 Overnight, the Highest of Week 2 Across All Networks; ESPN's Networks Air Four of the Five Highest Overnights Among All Networks
· ESPN Network's Air Highest Overnight In Each Game Window and Best in Primetime By More than 75%
· Sooners-Buckeyes: Best September Non-Opening Week Overnight on ABC in Seven Years, Up 33% from 2016 Game on FOX
· Auburn at Clemson: Best Cable Overnight and Higher than Two Games on FOX

ESPN's networks aired four of the five highest overnights and the best overnight in the individual noon, late afternoon and primetime game windows across all networks during college football's week 2. ABC's Saturday Night Football between Oklahoma and Ohio State (8 p.m. ET) earned the week's highest overnight with a 5.3, while also adding a streaming audience of 170,000 in the average minute. On a night with a number of prime time options, ABC's audience outpaced NBC by 77% and FOX by 194%

Additional Oklahoma-Ohio State Highlights:
· The overnight for the Sooners victory is ABC's highest for a non-opening week September game since 2011 and the streaming average audience is the best ever in the same category.

· The overnight and streaming average minute audience is up 39% and 98%, respectively, from SNF's week 2 telecast last season (Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee).

· The 2017 Sooners-Buckeyes overnight is up 33% from the 2016 matchup between the two schools which aired on FOX.

· Columbus was the No. 1 local market with a 39.6 rating. The top 10 markets:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 39.6 Columbus
2 33.4 Oklahoma City
3 25.3 Tulsa
4 22.6 Dayton
5 19.5 Cleveland-Akron
6 11.8 Cincinnati
7 10.0 Austin
8 9.9 Detroit
9 7.6 Birmingham
10 6.9 Nashville

Auburn at Clemson on ESPN is Cable's Best Overnight of Week 2, Out Paces Both of FOX's Games
Auburn at Clemson (7 p.m., ESPN) earned a 2.0 overnight and a streaming audience of 113,000 in the average minute, setting the pace among all games on cable in week 2. Additionally, the overnight rating between the battle of the Tigers outdrew all games on FOX Sports and CBS. Overall, all eight games on ESPN and ESPN2 had higher overnights than the two games which aired on FS1.
Additional highlights:
· The overnight and streaming audience for Clemson's victory was up 43% and 61% respectively from ESPN's week 2 primetime telecast (Arkansas at TCU).

· Stanford at USC (8:30 p.m. on FOX) was down 14% from the same 2016 matchup which aired on ABC in prime time (Sept. 17 at 8 p.m.)

· Cincinnati at Michigan (noon) and Pittsburgh at Penn State (3:30 p.m.), both on ABC, where the two highest overnights in their game windows across all networks, earning a 2.8 and 2.7, respectively. The overnight for the Wolverines audience was up 27% from last season's same window on ABC, which featured the Wolverines hosting UCF.

Please note: All ESPN streaming information is preliminary and is expected to change with further procession. Final numbers will be available this week.


Florida State vs. Alabama: Monster 7.3 Overnight, ABC/ESPN Best Kickoff Weekend Overnight on Record
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, September 2.

[via press release from ESPN] Florida State vs. Alabama: Monster 7.3 Overnight, ABC/ESPN Best Kickoff Weekend Overnight On Record; Streaming Audience Shatters Previous High

· Michigan vs. Florida: Standout 5.0 Overnight, ABC/ESPN Highest Rated Non-Prime-Time Kickoff Weekend Game Ever; Streaming Audience Sets Same Record

· College Football Week 1: ESPN's Networks Have Aired the Highest-Rated Game Each Day across All Networks; Average Overnight Saturday on ESPN/ABC was 180% Higher than FS1/FOX
· College Football + US Open: Remarkable Usage for ESPN's Streaming

College football's five-day kickoff weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 4) continues to be record-setting for ESPN's networks as ABC aired both the highest-rated kickoff weekend game ever on record and the highest-rated non-primetime kickoff game ever on Saturday, while the two individual games shattered multiple streaming records in the process. Yesterday's success has created a kickoff weekend trend for ESPN's networks, as the network's MegaCast production for Ohio State at Indiana on Thursday smashed records and ESPN's first Friday night telecast of the season saw significant growth. As a result, ESPN's networks have aired the highest-rated game in each of the first three days of the kickoff weekend.

Florida State vs. Alabama: ABC/ESPN Highest-Rated Kickoff Weekend Game On Record; Michigan vs. Florida: Best Non-Prime-time Kickoff Weekend Record

ABC's Saturday Night Football's telecast of the historic, unprecedented matchup of No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama earned a monster 7.3 overnight rating and had a streaming audience of 237,000 viewers in the average minute becoming ESPN's networks highest-rated and most-streamed kickoff weekend game on record. Michigan vs. Florida, also on ABC (3:30 p.m.), earned a 5.0 overnight and had a streaming audience of 182,000 viewers in the average minute, becoming the highest-rated and most-streamed non-prime time kickoff game on record.

The average minute streaming audience for Alabama's victory is ESPN's second most-streamed regular season game ever, surpassing every September and October game ESPN/ABC has ever televised and trailing only last season's double overtime Michigan-Ohio State game all-time. The streaming audience is up 134% from ABC's Saturday Night Football first game last season (USC vs. Alabama).

The average minute streaming audience for the Wolverines win is ESPN/ABC's second best Saturday kickoff weekend audience ever, trailing only the aforementioned Florida State-Alabama game and up 21% from the same time slot last year (Wisconsin vs. LSU).

The overnight TV rating for the Alabama victory is up 49% from last season's ABC Saturday Night Football opener, with the Wolverines game showing window growth year over year as well.
ESPN Obliterates the Competition on the Season's First Saturday

College football's first full Saturday saw ESPN's networks generate 78% of the gross overnight rating points across all rated-networks. The average overnight rating for the seven games on ESPN/ABC was a 2.8 overnight, while Fox/FS1 averaged a 1.0 overnight for its four games. Comparing the four games on ESPN to the four games on FS1 + FOX Sports, ESPN alone beat them in gross rating points (4.1 to 3.9) without factoring in ABC. Also, ABC aired the three highest-rated games on Saturday, with the Akron at Penn State game (noon), joining the aforementioned two record-breaking games.

Top Markets:
· Florida State vs. Alabama:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 46.6 Birmingham
2 21.6 Jacksonville
3 18.4 Columbus, OH
4 17.2 Nashville
5 16.6 Knoxville
6 15.9 Greenville
7 15.2 Atlanta
8 13.6 Orlando
9 13.1 Memphis
10 12.8 West Palm Beach
Birmingham's local rating is the market's second best ever for an ABC regular season college football game
· Michigan vs. Florida:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 18.5 Jacksonville
2 16.2 Birmingham
3 15.7 Columbus, OH
4 15.4 Detroit
5 12.5 Knoxville
6 11.5 Tampa-St. Pete
7 11.4 Orlando
8 11.2 Nashville
9 9.7 West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce
10 9.5 Dayton
College Football and US Open Result in ESPN's Extraordinary Streaming Numbers
The first Saturday of the college football season, combined with US Open coverage, resulted in one of the largest days ever for ESPN streaming usage, as 3,600,000 unique users viewed 255,000,000 minutes, good for third in both categories in any single day.
*Overnight data exists back to 2004 for ABC and 2001 for ESPN.

Kickoff Weekend Continues: Ranked Matchup Between Big 12 and ACC on Special Sunday Night Presentation; No. 25 Tennessee Highlights ESPN's Traditional Labor Day Night Matchup
For the second straight year, ABC televises a special Sunday night prime-time game to commemorate the season's first week: the only top-25 matchup of the night features the Big 12 and the ACC when No. 22 West Virginia plays No. 21 Virginia Tech (Tonight at 7:30 p.m.) from FedExField in Landover, Md. Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Todd McShay will be on the call, as they begin their second season working together.

ESPN will conclude its opening week slate with its traditional Labor Day Night Game, this year featuring the second 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: No. 25 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech (8 p.m. on ESPN) in an SEC-ACC matchup. The Volunteers-Yellow Jackets matchup is also from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as ESPN will produce the stadium's first two college football games in a 48-hour span. Herbstreit concludes his stretch with the call, and Rece Davis will be on the play-by-play as Chris Fowler will return to New York City for the US Open. Maria Taylor will be on the sidelines.
Florida State vs. Alabama: More Than 12.5 Million Viewers, the Most-Watched Kickoff Weekend Game On Record Across All Networks; ABC Wins Sunday Night's Head-to Head Competition with Fox

· Seminoles-Crimson Tide's Massive Audience Surpasses Last Season's Notre Dame-Texas Viewership By an Impressive 13%
· ESPN's Networks Have Aired Top-Rated Game All Four Nights of Kickoff Weekend
ESPN's college football kickoff weekend (Aug 31 - Sept. 4) success continues as Florida State vs. Alabama on Saturday is now officially the most-watched college football opening weekend game on record across all networks and, on Sunday night, ABC beat Fox head-to-head by a substantial 32%. Factoring in last night's rating's results, ESPN's networks have aired the top rated game each of the first four nights of college football's kickoff weekend.

ABC's Saturday Night Football Opens the Season with Most-Watched Kickoff Game on Record
ESPN's networks have set a new college football kickoff weekend total live audience viewership record as ABC's Saturday Night Football telecast of the historic matchup between Florida State vs. Alabama (Sept. 2 at 8 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 12,560,000 viewers, now the most-watched kickoff weekend game ever across all networks -- ESPN's and competitors - surpassing last season's Notre Dame at Texas game which also aired on ABC.
Seminoles-Crimson Tide: A Top 5 Most-Watched Regular Season Game on ABC Since 2006; Key Demos Up More than 50%

In addition to setting new kickoff weekend records, the total live audience for Alabama's victory is a top 5 regular season college football audience on ABC since 2006. On television, the Seminoles-Crimson Tide saw key demos (males: 18-34, 18-49 & 25-54 and persons: 18-49 and 25-54) up more than 50% compared to last season's first ABC Saturday Night Football game of the season (USC vs. Alabama), while this season's total live audience was up 56% overall to the same game. Saturday night's TV audience peaked at 14,118,000 viewers (9 - 9:30 p.m.).

ESPN's Networks: Set a New Kickoff Weekend Viewership Record for Third Consecutive Year
The massive total live audience for Alabama's victory surpassed last season's kickoff weekend double-overtime thriller between Notre Dame and Texas by a remarkable 13%. Now, ESPN's networks have set a new, single game total live audience viewership record for three consecutive kickoff weekends:

Top Three Most-Watched Opening Weekend Games Across All Networks
Rank Total Live Audience Game Network Date
1 12,560,000 Florida State vs. Alabama ABC Sept. 2, 2017
2 11,139,000 Notre Dame at Texas ABC Sept. 4, 2016
3 10,760,000 Ohio State at Virginia Tech ESPN Sept. 7, 2015
Sunday Night: ABC Televises Only Top 25 Game of the Night, Wins the Night vs. Fox; Kickoff Weekend Success Continues

ABC's Sunday night Top 25 telecast of West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech (Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.) drew a 2.9 overnight rating, out-rating the college football game on Fox by 32%. Starting with the MegaCast for Ohio State at Indiana on Thursday night, and continuing Friday night with Wisconsin, one of the Big Ten's marquee teams, Saturday night's unprecedented Seminoles-Crimson Tide telecast and Sunday's rivalry game, ESPN's networks have aired the highest-rated game each night of kickoff weekend. ESPN concludes kickoff weekend tonight when No. 25 Tennessee plays Georgia Tech (8 p.m. on ESPN) in the second 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Records date back to 1990 for ESPN and 1996 for ABC. Competitive networks include CBS, Fox, FS1, FX, NBCSN and TBS. Data goes back as far to 1996 with CBS. TV data based on Fast Nationals.

ESPN's NBA Draft Ratings Up 13 Percent
ESPN spins the numbers for Thursday, June 22.

[via press release from ESPN] ESPN's NBA Draft Ratings Up 13 Percent
Matches Third-Highest Rated NBA Draft Ever on ESPN
ESPN Sets NBA Draft Streaming Records

ESPN's coverage of the 2017 NBA Draft presented by State Farm averaged a 2.7 metered market rating, up 13 percent from a 2.4 in 2016, according to Nielsen. It matches the third-highest rated NBA Draft on ESPN. The telecast peaked with a 4.0 rating from 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET.

Additionally, ESPN set several NBA Draft streaming records on Thursday. The NBA Draft drew an average minute streaming audience of 135,200 viewers, up 55 percent from 2016, and 1,153,500 unique viewers, up 107 percent from last year. ESPN delivered 39,215,000 total minutes streamed for the NBA Draft.

The NBA Draft on ESPN generated a 5.3 rating in the Louisville market, making it the top local market. The rest of the top 10 markets include: Charlotte (4.7); Indianapolis (4.4); Norfolk (4.0); Oklahoma City (3.9); Raleigh-Durham (3.8); Los Angeles (3.8); Las Vegas (3.8); Richmond (3.7); San Antonio (3.6).

ESPN's NBA Draft telecast is the latest live event / event series in June to generate ratings or viewership increases on ESPN television and streaming platforms. In addition to the NBA Draft, the NBA Finals, Sunday Night Baseball, the College World Series and the Women's College World Series have all generated increases this month.

NBA Finals on ABC: Highest-Rated Game 5 Since 1998: 16.0 Metered Market Rating
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, June 12.

[via press release from ESPN]
     NBA Finals on ABC: Highest-Rated Game 5 Since 1998: 16.0 Metered Market Rating
Game 5 Rating Up 13 Percent from 2016 & 2015

ABC Broadcast Peaked with 18.8 Rating; Record NBA Finals Game 5 Streaming Audience
NBA Finals Game 5 on ABC - the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Championship - generated a 16.0 metered market rating, making it the highest-rated NBA Finals Game 5 since 1998, according to Nielsen. The ABC broadcast peaked with an 18.8 rating from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET. The Game 5 rating was up 13 percent from Game 5 in both 2016 and 2015.
Additionally, last night's Game 5 was the most-streamed NBA Finals Game 5 ever and the second-most streamed NBA game ever. It generated an average minute streaming audience of 537,000 viewers, with 2,144,200 unique viewers and 92,377,200 total minutes streamed. The only NBA game to have generated a larger streaming audience was Game 7 in 2016.

The NBA Finals on ABC is expected to win the night across all of television for the 60th consecutive time. In the San Francisco-Oakland market, the Game 5 broadcast delivered a 39.6 metered market rating and in the Cleveland market it generated a 37.1 rating. The other top local markets include: Columbus (23.3); Sacramento (21.2); Atlanta (21.0); Miami (20.6); Memphis (20.1); Los Angeles (19.1); Chicago (18.6); Richmond (17.7).

ESPN will exclusively televise the 2017 NBA Draft presented by State Farm on Thursday, June 22, at 7 p.m. ET.


NBA Finals on ABC: Game 4 Up Five Percent From Last Year With 12.6 Metered Market Rating
ESPN spins the numbers for Friday, June 9.

[via press release from ESPN] NBA Finals on ABC: Game 4 Up Five Percent From Last Year With 12.6 Metered Market Rating
2017 NBA Finals Metered Market Ratings Average Up Five Percent From 2016 Through Four Games
ESPN Sets NBA Finals Game 4 Streaming Records

Game 4 of the NBA Finals on ABC - the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors 137-116 - delivered a 12.6 metered market rating, up five percent from a 12.0 for last year's Game 4, according to Nielsen. The broadcast peaked with a 14.9 rating from 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET.
The 2017 NBA Finals - the Warriors currently lead the Cavaliers 3-1 - is averaging a 12.8 metered market rating through four games. This is up five percent from a 12.2 in 2016.

ESPN set multiple NBA Finals Game 4 streaming records last night. The game delivered 71,592,200 total minutes streamed, 1,901,000 unique viewers and an average minute streaming audience of 374,800 viewers - all Game 4 records.

The NBA Finals on ABC is expected to win the night for the 59th consecutive time. Last night's broadcast delivered a 35.5 rating in the Cleveland market and a 32.1 rating in the San Francisco-Oakland market. The other top local markets include: Columbus (18.9); Sacramento (16.8); Memphis (16.5); Atlanta (16.0); San Antonio (15.6); Miami (15.4); Birmingham (14.7); Chicago (14.3).
The NBA Finals on ABC continues with Game 5 on Monday, June 12, at 9 p.m. ET (ABC coverage starting at 8:30 p.m.). The NBA Finals is also available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN App.

2017 NBA Finals On ABC: Most-Watched Since 1998 Through Four Games
Game 4 Draws Total Live Audience of 19,387,000 Viewers, Up 15 Percent from Last Year
Game 4 Peaked with 22,450,000 Viewers

The 2017 NBA Finals on ABC - the Golden State Warriors lead the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-1 - is the most-watched NBA Finals since 1998 through four games, according to Fast Nationals from Nielsen. The series is averaging a total live audience (television plus streaming) of 19,788,000 average viewers, up 12 percent from 17,696,000 viewers in 2016. On ABC, the series is averaging 19,380,000 viewers (P2+), plus an average minute streaming audience of 408,000 viewers.

Friday night's Game 4 broadcast on ABC - the Cavaliers defeated the Warriors 137-116 - delivered a total live audience of 19,387,000 average viewers up 15 percent from a total live audience of 16,867,000 viewers in 2016. On ABC, Game 4 delivered 19,012,000 average viewers (P2+) with an additional average minute streaming audience of 375,000 viewers. Game 4 peaked on ABC with 22,450,000 viewers from 11-11:30 p.m. ET.

The NBA Finals on ABC won the night across all of television for the 59th consecutive time. For additional information, including metered market ratings and Game 4 streaming records, visit ESPN Media Zone to access the press release from earlier today.

The NBA Finals on ABC continues with Game 5 on Monday, June 12, at 9 p.m. (ABC coverage starts at 8:30 p.m.). Game 5 is also available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN App.

NBA Finals on ABC: Game 3 Up 14 Percent From Last Year With 13.4 Metered Market Rating
ESPN spins the numbers for Wednesday, June 7.

[via press release from ESPN] NBA Finals on ABC: Game 3 Up 14 Percent From Last Year With 13.4 Metered Market Rating
Most-Streamed NBA Finals Game 3 Ever: Nearly Two Million Unique Viewers
Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals - the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-113 in an instant classic - delivered a 13.4 metered market rating on ABC, according to Nielsen. This was up 14 percent from an 11.8 in 2016. Last night's broadcast peaked on ABC with a 15.6 rating from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET.

Through three games, the 2017 NBA Finals on ABC is averaging a 12.8 metered market rating, up four percent from a 12.3 in 2016.

In addition, the NBA Finals on ABC continue to produce record streaming numbers, including several for Game 3. On Wednesday, nearly two million unique viewers (1,964,000) streamed the game with an average minute audience of 440,700 viewers. There were also 76,680,000 total minutes streamed - all records for an NBA Finals Game 3.

The NBA Finals on ABC is expected to win the night across all of television for the 58th consecutive time. The broadcast drew a 35.3 in the Cleveland market and a 32.7 in the San Francisco-Oakland market. The rest of the top 10 local markets include: Columbus (20.6); Memphis (19.4); Atlanta (18.6); Miami (17.8); Sacramento (17.1); Richmond (16.3); Charlotte (15.1); Birmingham (14.8).
The NBA Finals on ABC continues with Game 4 on Friday, June 9, at 9 p.m. (coverage starts at 8:30 p.m.). The Golden State Warriors will attempt to become the first team in NBA history to go undefeated throughout the NBA Playoffs. The game is also available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN App.

NBA Finals on ABC: Game 2 Up Seven Percent From Last Year With 12.7 Metered Market Rating

ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, June 4.

[via press release from ESPN] NBA Finals on ABC: Game 2 Up Seven Percent From Last Year With 12.7 Metered Market Rating
· 2017 NBA Finals Ratings on ABC Up From 2016 through Two Games
· ESPN Sets More NBA Finals Streaming Records

The 2017 NBA Finals on ABC - the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 132-113 - delivered a 12.7 metered market rating, up seven percent compared to an 11.9 for NBA Finals Game 2 in 2016. Sunday's Game 2 broadcast peaked with a 14.7 rating from 10-10:15 p.m. ET, according to Nielsen.

Through two games, the 2017 NBA Finals on ABC is averaging a 12.6 metered market rating, up from a 12.5 last year, according to Nielsen. The NBA Finals on ABC is expected to win the night across all of television for the 57th consecutive time.

Additionally, ESPN delivered another record NBA Finals streaming audience across metrics on Sunday. Game 2 drew an average minute audience of 435,800 viewers, 1,774,600 unique viewers and 71,030,300 total minutes streamed - all records for an NBA Finals Game 2.

Sunday's Game 2 broadcast averaged a 32.4 rating in the Cleveland market and a 31.1 in the San Francisco-Oakland market. The rest of the top ten local markets include Columbus (19.5), Miami (17.7), Memphis (17.5), Atlanta (17.0), Sacramento (15.5), Richmond (15.3), San Antonio (14.6) and Birmingham (14.0).

The 2017 NBA Finals on ABC and the ESPN App continues with Game 3 on Wednesday, June 7, at 9 p.m. (coverage starting at 8:30 p.m.)

2017 NBA Finals on ABC: Most-Watched Since 1998 Through Two Games
Most-Watched NBA Finals Game 2 Since 1998: Total Live Audience of 20.1 Million Viewers
The 2017 NBA Finals on ABC - the Golden State Warriors lead the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-0 - is the most-watched since 1998, through two games, according to Fast Nationals from Nielsen. The series is averaging a total live audience (television plus streaming) of 19,602,000 average viewers, up five percent from 18,641,000 viewers in 2016. It is averaging 19,192,000 viewers (P2+) on ABC and an average minute streaming audience of 410,000 viewers.

Sunday's NBA Finals Game 2, in which the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 132-113, generated a total live audience of 20,117,000 average viewers, making it the most-watched NBA Finals Game 2 since 1998. It was up 13 percent from 17,756,000 average viewers in 2016. The Game 2 broadcast averaged 19,681,000 viewers (P2+) and an average minute streaming audience of 436,000 viewers. The broadcast peaked with 23,094,000 viewers from 10-10:30 p.m. ET.

The NBA Finals on ABC won the night across television on Sunday for the 57th consecutive time.
The 2017 NBA Finals on ABC and the ESPN App continues with Game 3 on Wednesday, June 7, at 9 p.m. (coverage starting at 8:30 p.m.)


Golden State-Cleveland Trilogy Continues to Deliver Best NBA Finals Ratings Ever on ABC
ESPN spins the numbers for Thursday, June 1.

[via press release from ESPN] Golden State-Cleveland Trilogy Continues to Deliver Best NBA Finals Ratings Ever on ABC
Game 1 Draws Strong 12.4 Metered Market Rating, Third-Highest Game 1 Ever on ABC
ESPN's Most-streamed NBA Finals Game 1 Ever: Average Minute Audience of Nearly 500,000 Viewers

Game 1 Peaks with 13.9, NBA Finals on ABC Projected to Win the Night for 56th Consecutive Time
The Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers trilogy continues to deliver the best metered market ratings ever for the NBA Finals on ABC. Last night's broadcast, in which the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers by 22 points after opening up a commanding third quarter lead, delivered a strong 12.4 metered market rating. This is the third-highest NBA Finals Game 1 ever on ABC, only surpassed by their two previous meetings, according to Nielsen.

The Game 1 broadcast peaked with a 13.9 metered market rating from 10:15-10:30 p.m. ET. The NBA Finals on ABC is projected to win the night for the 56th consecutive time.
NBA Finals Game 1 ESPN streaming records

Thursday's Warriors-Cavaliers matchup set several ESPN NBA Finals Game 1 streaming records across metrics. Last night's game drew an average minute streaming audience of nearly 500,000 viewers (496,000), up 43 percent from 2016. In addition, it drew 1,546,600 unique viewers, up 54 percent from last year and there were a total of 79,860,000 minutes streamed, up 43 percent.

Top five local markets on ABC:
Cleveland 33.4
San Francisco-Oakland 30.9
Columbus 17.3
Memphis 16.3
Miami 15.8
The 2017 NBA Finals will continue with Game 2 this Sunday, June 4, at 8 p.m. on ABC. For more details on ESPN's NBA Finals coverage, please visit ESPN Media Zone.

NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 on ABC Delivers Total Live Audience of 8.3 Million Viewers
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, May 14.

[via press release from ESPN]
     NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 on ABC Delivers Total Live Audience of 8.3 Million Viewers

Up 50 Percent from ESPN's 2016 Conference Finals Game 1; Peaked with 11.4 Million Viewers
2017 NBA Playoffs on ABC and ESPN Up Eight Percent from 2016

NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 on ABC - Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs - delivered a total live audience of 8,311,000 viewers (television plus streaming), according to Nielsen. This is up 50 percent from the total live audience of 5,557,000 viewers for ESPN's Conference Finals coverage in 2016 (Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors). Sunday's broadcast peaked with 11,395,000 viewers (P2+) from 6-6:15 p.m. ET.

On television, Game 1 generated 8,129,000 viewers, up 50 percent from 5,405,000 viewers in 2016. The game drew an additional average minute streaming audience of 182,000 viewers, up 20 percent from 152,000 viewers last year. Game 1 was the highest-rated telecast on broadcast or cable for Sunday, May 14, across the majority of key demos, including M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34, P18-49 and P25-54.

Through Western Conference Finals Game 1, the 2017 NBA Playoffs on ABC and ESPN is averaging a total live audience of 4,296,000 viewers, up eight percent from 3,977,000 viewers in 2016.

The NBA Western Conference Finals continues on ESPN tonight, May 16, with Game 2 at 9 p.m. It is also available to be streamed on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.


ABC's Most-Watched NBA Playoffs Opening Weekend Game Ever: Total Live Audience of 6,624,000 Viewers for Golden State-Portland Game 1
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, April 16.

[via press release from ESPN] ABC's Most-Watched NBA Playoffs Opening Weekend Game Ever: Total Live Audience of 6,624,000 Viewers for Golden State-Portland Game 1
Warriors-Trail Blazers Game 1 Peaked with 9,139,000 Average Viewers
ESPN's & ABC's Television & Streaming Audience Up for 2017 NBA Playoffs
ESPN's Most-Streamed NBA Playoffs Opening Weekend Ever

ABC's broadcast of the Golden State Warriors' Game 1 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday generated a total live audience (television + streaming) of 6,624,000 average viewers, making it ABC's most-watched NBA Playoffs opening weekend game ever, according to Nielsen. It was up 22 percent from the corresponding game last year (Cleveland-Detroit Game 1), which averaged 5,436,000 total live viewers.

Golden State-Portland Game 1 peaked with 9,139,000 average viewers from 5:45-6 p.m. ET. On television, the game drew 6,519,000 average viewers (p2+) with an additional average minute streaming audience of 105,400 viewers.

Through five games, viewership for the 2017 NBA Playoffs on ESPN and ABC is up eight percent, averaging 3,957,000 total live viewers, compared to 3,662,000 last year. On television, the five games averaged 3,865,000 viewers, up eight percent from 3,589,000 viewers last season. It was also ESPN's most-streamed NBA Playoffs opening weekend ever, with an average minute audience of 91,800 viewers, 303,900 average unique viewers and 71,616,500 total minutes streamed.

More highlights:
· ESPN's opening weekend tripleheader averaged a total live audience of 2,976,000 average viewers, up 11 percent from 2,676,000 viewers last year;
· ABC's two opening weekend games averaged a total live audience of 5,382,000 average viewers, up five percent from 5,137,000 viewers last year.
The 2017 NBA Playoffs continue with seven games across ESPN and ABC this weekend. Please visit ESPN Media Zone for the full schedule.

Golden State-Oklahoma City on ABC Delivers Highest-Rated Non-Christmas NBA Regular-Season Game Since 2013
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, February 11.

[via press release from ESPN] Golden State-Oklahoma City on ABC Delivers Highest-Rated Non-Christmas NBA Regular-Season Game Since 2013

4.1 Metered Market Rating is Series-Best for NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC

The Golden State Warriors' decisive 130-114 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder last night on ABC delivered a 4.1 metered market rating, making it the highest-rated, non-Christmas NBA regular-season game on any network since 2013, according to Nielsen. It also marked a series-best for NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC, which is currently in its second season, and it was up 58 percent from last season's comparable ABC game, (Warriors-Clippers, 2/20/16, 2.6).

Last night's broadcast peaked with a 4.7 from 11-11:15 p.m. ET. It averaged a 19.5 rating in the Oklahoma City market, which is the best rating for a regular-season NBA game on ABC or ESPN since 2012 in the market. Additionally, the broadcast delivered a 14.3 in the San Francisco-Oakland market, making it the second-highest rated game of the season on ABC or ESPN (second to Christmas).

The Golden State-Oklahoma City showdown also delivered the second-largest streaming audience of the NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series. It generated an average minute audience of 80,000 viewers, 320,000 unique viewers and 13.8 million total minutes streamed.

The NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series resumes Feb. 25, when the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers host the Chicago Bulls, with coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Viewership for Season Debut of ABC's NBA Sunday Showcase Up 33 Percent
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, January 29.

[via press release from ESPN] Viewership for Season Debut of ABC's NBA Sunday Showcase Up Double-Digits
The season debut of the NBA Sunday Showcase presented by Verizon Go90 series on ABC (Jan. 29) delivered double-digit audience increases, according to Nielsen. This past Sunday's matchup - a 107-91 Cleveland Cavaliers' victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder - generated a total live average audience (television + streaming) of 3,230,000 viewers, up 11 percent from 2,905,000 viewers last season for Chicago Bulls at LA Clippers.

On ABC, Sunday's broadcast averaged 3,186,000 viewers (p2+), which was up 10 percent from 2,886,000 viewers last year. Additionally, the streaming audience increased by 220 percent, generating an average minute audience of 43,600 viewers, up from 19,800 last season.

The NBA Sunday Showcase returns on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, with a special start time of 2 p.m. ET. The Boston Celtics and Isaiah Thomas will host the LA Clippers and Paul Pierce in what is expected to be Pierce's final appearance in Boston. Full details on ESPN's NBA coverage this week can be found on ESPN Media Zone.

"NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC": Season Two Debut Is Highest-Rated Non-Christmas NBA Game of the Season Across ABC and ESPNESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, January 21.

[via press release from ESPN] "NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC": Season Two Debut is Highest-Rated Non-Christmas NBA Game of the Season across ABC and ESPN

San Antonio Spurs-Cleveland Cavaliers Overtime Thriller Generates Double-Digit Increases across Digital Metrics

The season two debut of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC is the highest-rated, non-Christmas NBA game of the 2016-17 regular season across ABC and ESPN. The San Antonio Spurs' thrilling overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers averaged a 2.6 metered market rating, peaking with a 4.0 rating from 11-11:15 p.m. ET, according to Nielsen.

NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC delivered a 13.9 rating in the San Antonio market, making it the highest-rated game in the market this season across networks. The broadcast generated a 12.2 in the Cleveland market, placing it as the second-highest rated game in the market this season across networks.

The Spurs-Cavaliers showdown delivered a significant streaming audience with 9,146,000 total minutes streamed, 231,800 unique viewers and an average minute audience of 59,800 viewers. This is up 28 percent, 31 percent and 14 percent, respectively, from last year's season debut.
NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC continues next week as the defending Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors host the LA Clippers at 8:30 p.m. Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Israel Gutierrez will provide commentary. NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless precedes the game at 8 p.m. with Sage Steele, Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon.


National Championship Caps Exciting College Football Playoff Which Delivers Ratings Growth, Sets Numerous Streaming Records
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, January 9.

[via press release from ESPN] National Championship Caps Exciting College Football Playoff Which Delivers Ratings Growth, Sets Numerous Streaming Records
· New Year's Six Plus Championship Game Up Year-Over-Year
· CFP National Championship Delivers 15.3 Combined Overnight Rating, Sets Streaming Records for Third Consecutive Year
The College Football Playoff (Semifinals + National Championship) averaged a 12.7 overnight rating and a streaming audience of 535,000 average viewers, 1,655,000 unique viewers watching 120,090,000 minutes. The three game overnight average is up 8% from last season's same three games and streaming audience is up 39%, 25%, 38%, respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched. The streaming average is the best in the three years of the College Football Playoff - in all three metrics - surpassing the first year by 100%, 65%, and 98%, respectively.
Factoring in the entire New Year's Six, the seven games (New Year's Six + Championship) averaged a 9.0 overnight and a streaming audience of 355,000 average viewers, 1,155,000 unique viewers watching 79,095,000 minutes. The overnight average is up 8% from last season and streaming audience is up 49%, 30%, 48%, respectively, in average audience minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched. The streaming average is the best in the three years of the new system - in all three metrics - surpassing the first year by 132%, 96%, and 130%, respectively.
The College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T between Clemson and Alabama (January 9, 2017) set streaming records for the third consecutive year. The Tigers' victory had a streaming average audience of 710,000 viewers with 2,413,000 unique viewers watching 182,575,000 minutes - setting new highs in all three categories for a college football game on any ESPN network and surpassing last season's national championship game between the same teams (January 11, 2016). The streaming audience was up 21%, 25% and 30%, respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched from the before mentioned 2016 CFP National Championship. The unique viewers is ESPN's third best across all sports, trailing only two USA World Cup games which were played during traditional working hours.
ESPN's record-breaking national championship streaming audience concludes a 10-day stretch which delivered the most streamed semifinal (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl featuring Washington vs. Alabama) and non-semifinal New Year's Six game (Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual featuring USC vs. Penn State) ever.
ESPN's national championship television presentation delivered a 15.3 overnight combined rating, a top six event for ESPN on record across all sports. Birmingham delivered a 53.6 local rating, easily the best among all markets. The complete top markets:
Rank Rating Market
1 53.6 Birmingham
2 35.1 Greenville
3 28.2 Atlanta
4 26.6 Nashville
5 25.8 Knoxville
6 23.6 Charlotte
7 23.2 Jacksonville
8 22.9 New Orleans
9 22.5 Columbus
10 22.3 Memphis
College Football Playoff Semifinals were December 31 in 2015 (4 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and 2016 (3 p.m, and 7 p.m.); Games were televised on ESPN and ESPN2 both year and last year. Streaming audience includes multiple feeds for all metrics and comparisons
New Year's Six consists of Capital One Orange Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual and Allstate Sugar Bowl. Each year, two of the games are College Football Playoff Semifinals.
**Overnight includes all of ESPN's Nielsen-rated networks which were part of the MegaCast (ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU). SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN Goal Line are not rated and thus not included
More than 26 Million Viewers Watched the College Football Playoff National Championship
· CFP National Championship: Most-Viewed Telecast Across All Cable Networks Since Last Season's National Championship; Rematch Nearly Matches Audience from 2016 Tigers-Crimson Tide National Championship Matchup
· ESPN Experiences Audience Gains for College Football Playoff; New Year's Six Plus National Championship Average Viewership Up Double Digits
The College Football Playoff National Championship between Clemson and Alabama (January 9 at 8 p.m. ET) delivered a total live audience across the multi-network MegaCast (TV feeds + streaming) of 26,029,000 viewers, the most-watched event carried on a cable network since the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship (January 11, 2016) between the same two teams (26,709,000 viewers).
The College Football Playoff three-game (semifinals + national championship) total live audience average was 22,230,000 viewers, up 9% from last season's same three game total live audience average (20,331,000 viewers). Factoring in the entire New Year's Six, the seven games (New Year's Six + national championship) averaged a total live audience of 16,044,000 viewers, up 15% from last season's seven game total live audience average (14,004,000 viewers).
College Football Playoff Dominates Cable's Most-Watched List
On just ESPN, the Tigers-Crimson Tide's TV viewership drew 24,391,000 viewers, the eighth most-watched cable telecast of all time. Overall, ESPN has televised the nine most-watched cable telecasts ever, with the College Football Playoff holding each of the top 3 spots (2015 National Championship and both 2015 Semifinals), as well as No. 6 (2016 National Championship) and No. 8.
Total live audience for 2017 and 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship includes TV viewership from ESPN's Nielsen-rated networks (ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU) and streaming feeds which were part of the MegaCast. SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN Goal Line are not rated and thus not included.
ESPN has aired a MegaCast for all three years of the College Football Playoff National Championship.

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