Masters, NHL and NBA Weekend Nielsen Ratings

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April 14th, 2008

Tiger Woods at 2008 Masters TournamentWhile I have no viewer data I did get some metered market ratings for some of this weekend's sporting events including the Masters and the NHL and NBA.  Note: BE VERY WEARY WARY of the comparisons to last year's data, with the exception of the Masters comparisons to itself.  

This is an a problem with Nielsen sometimes.  The  other comparisons to last year are for the weekend of 4/14-4/15/2007, that's comparable in time period, but not comparable at all in terms of the competition as last year the Masters' final weekend was 4/7 & 4/8.  So it looks like the NHL ratings were down 17% for Sunday's matchup the way Nielsen does the comparisons - but it's not fair.  The game they compared it to (Calgary vs. Detroit) was played on April 15 and did NOT compete with Tiger Woods (though it is otherwise a fair comparison if you don't care about that sort of thing).

Saturday's third round coverage at Augusta National from 4p-7:45p (EDT) averaged a 6.1/14 (ratings/share) which was basically unchanged from last year's 6.1/13.  Sunday's final round coverage from 3p-7:45p delivered an 8.9/18, down ~2% from last year's 9.1/21 (where Tiger Woods also finished second).

Sports across the board (that are not the NFL) are suffering.  The NBA game featuring Toronto vs Detroit from 1p-3:30p on Sunday scored a 1.8/4, down 5% versus last year.  The 3:30p-6p game featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs delivered a 2.8/6, down ~3% from last year's 2.9/6 game featuring Dallas and San Antonia - but again, that game was on 4/15 and not against the Masters so those numbers look really good to me.

The NHL game on Saturday featuring Nashville at Detroit (2p-5p) delivered a 1.0/3, and while they are saying it was down 17% from last year's games they again, compared to the weekend that wasn't up against the Masters.

Sunday's NHL game with the Flyers of Philadelphia visiting the Washington Capitals suffered a similar fate, of being down 17% versus a Calgary and Detroit game on 4/15/07 that wasn't against the masters.

The Flyers/Caps game fared better in the local markets, drawing a 3.8 in Philadelphia and 3.0 in Washington, DC, which is very good for a town considered by many not to be a hockey town.  It looks like Ted is converting them slowly, though neither Philly or DC is like Detroit which had a 9.8 local rating for Saturday's game.  Nashville had a 2.0 local rating for the game.

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