Nielsen Ratings May 10, 2008: More Love NASCAR Than Lebron

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May 11th, 2008

Scoreboard for Sat. May 10, 2008 FOX CBS ABC NBC
Total Viewers (million) 7.67 5.80 4.53 4.05
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 2.6/8 1.3/5 1.6/6 1.0/3

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms!  About the only good news I can give you as far as this overnight recap goes is thank goodness there will be some better TV on tonight!

NASCAR did outshine the NBA.  But then again, a rerun of CSI: Miami may well have for all I know.  I didn't see the hourly data for the Boston Celtics vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers game, but for the night it averaged 4.54 million and a 1.6/6  (rating/share) in the 18-49 demographic vs. 7.67m and a 2.6/9 for NASCAR.  That's kind of a beatdown.

Lebron James and Kevin Garnett?  Nobody seems to care.  Lebron is no Michael Jordon when it comes to Nielsen ratings and lately, not on the court either.  Though Cleveland won easily, Lebron again didn't have a great night.  But I'm not here to pick on Lebron, hopefully he's worth his Nike contract because he's selling a lot of shoes.  He's not bringing eyeballs to the television though and it appears that Kobe Bryant is the bigger TV star in the NBA.  

Caveats: yes, I know the game was a blowout early - I stopped watching after the first quarter myself.  But I don't want to hear any whining about how NASCAR is only on once a week and we'd need to add up all the NBA games collectively to make any kind of comparison.  No we don't.  More people watched NASCAR and significantly more in the 18-49 demo.  Sunday Night Football usually aired after FOURTEEN OTHER GAMES HAD BEEN PLAYED and still could pull in 11 million for its worst matchup and almost 22 for its best non playoff matchup.

At this point it's fairly easy to declare NASCAR the better TV sport if a "who cares" no big deal race early in the season draws more viewers than an NBA playoff game.  It could be that aside from the NBA finals, nobody cares.  While I found the second half of the NBA regular season to be very exciting, so far the playoffs have been mostly kind of dull.  Suns vs. Spurs had some exciting games, and Chris Paul of the Hornets has been amazing, but otherwise mostly blah.

For now, Lebron is definitely no MJ.  In fact, he's not even close to Tiger Woods from a Nielsen ratings perspective.  Speaking of Tiger, he was in the stands for the Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic game in Orlando that aired earlier in the day to watch his Magic rally, take the lead and then still wind up losing by one at the end.  That game was at least exciting, but the problem for the NBA is that most people couldn't name one player on either team, let alone one player on both.  And OK, so more people watched Celtics vs. Cavs than Friday Night Smackdown!  But Smackdown is taped.  More people watched WWE RAW than Celtics/Cavs.  While last week, a game featuring Kobe on ABC did beat out WWE RAW, it didn't beat NASCAR

Sorry for the sports rant, but there just wasn't much to say about the night.  See for yourself:

Time Network Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
8:00 ABC NBA: Boston vs. Cleveland 4.54 1.6/6
  CBS CSI: Miami (Repeat) 5.25 1.1/4
  NBC Medium (Repeat) 2.52 0.6/2
  FOX NASCAR (8p-10p) 7.67 2.6/9
9:00 NBC Law & Order: CI (Repeat) 4.02 1.0/4
  CBS Criminal Minds (Repeat) 5.59 1.2/4
10:00 NBC Law & Order (Repeat) 5.61 1.3/4
  CBS 48 Hours Mystery 6.16 1.6/5

Nielsen Ratings Source: Nielsen Media Research. Full night's results available via Marc Berman/Mediaweek.

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