Ratings Roundup: NBA Finals Finale Even with Last Year; EURO 2012 Viewership up 82%
Published: Friday, June 22, 2012 - 8:21 am

Compiled by Jason Dachman, Managing Editor, SVG

The Heat’s Game 5 NBA Finals clincher notched a 12.6 overnight rating Thursday night, even with last year’s game 5. It was the best overnight for any game in the series, edging Tuesday’s Game 4 (12.4).

Overall, the five-game series averaged an 11.8 overnight rating, the highest five-game ratings average since 2004 and second-highest ever on ABC, according to Nielsen. It is up 5% from an 11.2 rating through five games last year (Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat).

In Miami, the game delivered a record 40.3 rating, which is the highest for an NBA game ever in the market. In Oklahoma City, the game delivered a 39.8…

…With the group play stage now in the books, ESPN’s English-language coverage of the EURO 2012 Championship has averaged .784 million households and 1.002 million viewers, up 79% and 82%, respectively, versus the group stage matches in 2008 (.439 million households and .552 million viewers). The most-watched match in the group stage was a 1-1 tie in Group C between Spain and Italy on Sunday, June 10 seen by an average audience of 2.113 million viewers.  This audience was larger than any of the 31 telecasts in 2008, except the final on ABC (3.76 million viewers).

ESPN Deportes’ audience has also skyrocketed, as its EURO 2012 coverage averaged 161,000 Hispanic households and 228,000 Hispanic viewers during group play, up 123% and 138%, respectively, compared to the group stage matches in 2008 (73,000 Hispanic households and 96,000 Hispanic viewers).

On the broadband side, ESPN3 and WatchESPN logged an average minute audience of 76,300 per game and a total of 262.5 million minutes across all twelve days to both English and Spanish language feeds.  On computers alone, there were a total of 1.7 million unique viewers.  Additionally, fans consumed 230 million minutes on computers, up 645% compared to EURO 2008. Netherlands vs. Germany was the highest performing match during the group stage on ESPN3 and WatchESPN, logging 395,000 unique viewers, 17.3 million minutes and an average minute audience of 115,283…

…NBC holed a huge audience during its 13 hours of U.S. Open coverage last weekend, posting the most-watched final round in four years, the most-watched third round in a decade, and the most-watched combined Saturday-Sunday coverage in four years; according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

With the Open being played on the west coast, it allowed for extensive primetime viewing in much of the country.

Sunday’s final round broadcast averaged 9.6 million viewers, up 30% vs. last year (7.4 million) and the best since 2008 (12.1). Sunday received a 6.0 household rating and a 12 share, up 33% vs. last year and the best in four years (2008, 7.5/17). This year’s U.S. Open, while going head-to-head with Game 3 of the NBA Finals, generated a higher rating (6.0/12) and more viewers (9.6 million) than Pebble Beach in 2010 (5.8/13 and 9.3 million), which was the last Open with primetime viewing.

Saturday’s third round coverage averaged 7.6 million viewers, up 65% vs. last year (4.6 million) and the most-watched since 2002 (8.2 million). NBC’s third-round coverage (4-10:30 p.m. ET) received a 5.0 household rating and a 12 share, up 61% vs. last year and the best in a decade (2002, 6.0/17). Saturday’s coverage surpassed both 2010 (3.7/9 and 5.6 million) and 2008 (4.6/11 and 6.6 million) in ratings and viewership.

The combined Saturday-Sunday household rating (5.5/12) and viewership (8.6 million) were the best since 2008 (6.0/14 and 9.3 million), and up 41% and 43%, respectively, vs. last year (3.9/10 and 6.0 million viewers).

…TNT’s NASCAR coverage has jumped out of the gate, as Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan, which was delayed 90 minutes due to rain, drew a 3.2 U.S. rating and 5.284 million viewers on TNT — up 10% in ratings and 8% in viewership from last year (2.9, 4.890M). The race, which marked Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s first win in four years, was the highest rated edition of the race since 2009 (3.3), and the most-viewed since 2006 (7.106M). Both TNT telecasts this season have had increases in ratings compared to last year — no small feat, considering that ten of the thirteen FOX telecasts suffered declines.

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