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Ratings Roundup: National Title Rematch Breaks Seven Year Record; Cowboys-Saints Becomes Most Watched in TNF History

05/12/2018

Ratings Roundup: National Title Rematch Breaks Seven Year Record; Cowboys-Saints Becomes Most Watched in TNF History By Kristian Hernandez, Assistant Editor

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 10:00 am

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Ratings roundup is a rundown of rating news from the past week and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week's edition, Championship Weekend in college football is accented an Alabama vs. Georgia rematch, a Cowboys stunner over the Saints becomes the most-watched game in the 12-year history of Thursday Night Football, some of the major networks recap their 2018 college football season, and ESPN's First Take registered its best November on record.

Photo: Brett Davis, USA Today Sports

SEC Championship Shatters Seven Year Watermark

Alabama and Georgia met for the first time since their overtime thriller in 2017 National Championship game. This time, it was for the SEC crown. SEC on CBS received the highest-rated regular season college football game on any network in the last seven years, with a 10.1/23 rating and 17.5 million viewers. The game rating/share peaked at 14.4/28 from 7:30-7:45 PM, ET. In addition, the matchup was the conference's second highest-rated game in 26 years since the first SEC title game in 1992.

On the digital side, streaming on CBS All Access and other platforms saw double-digit percent increases vs. last year in key usage metrics, including 71% in unique viewers, 67% in total streams, and 59% in time spent. All Access aw a 63% increase

The top five-rated markets include Birmingham (56.7/74), Atlanta (33.9/57), Greenville-Spartanburg (25.2/39), Jacksonville (24.5/39), and Knoxville (23/36)

ABC's presentation of the Big 12 Championship between Oklahoma and Texas delivered a total live audience of 10,299,000 viewers, a top four most-watched game of the season. The game highlighted a championship week that saw ESPN/ABC combine on a number of superlatives, including:

Mountain West: The most-viewed MW Championship Game on ESPN/ESPN2

Inaugural Sun Belt Championship: Most-viewed Sun Belt Conference Game on ESPN/ESPN2 Since 2011

Saints-Cowboys Showdown in Dallas Sets New Standard on Thursday Night Football

Thursday Night Football, featuring the Dallas Cowboys' 13-10 win over the New Orleans Saints, was seen by an average audience of 22.2 million viewers across all platforms, including Fox, NFL Network, Fox Deportes, NFL digital, Fox Sports digital, Amazon, and Yahoo Sports, making it the most-watched Thursday Night Football game ever.

The 22.2 million viewers for Saints-Cowboys across all platforms is up 56% versus the 2017 10-game Thursday Night Football average and up 39%versus last year's Week 13 Thursday Night Football matchup between the Cowboys and Washington Redskins (TV digital).

The Nielsen-measured audience was 21.4 million viewers- up 55% versus the 2017 10-game Thursday Night Football average on CBS/NBC and NFL Network (13.8 million) and up 37%versus the 2017 Week 13 Thursday Night Football game (15.6 million). Additionally, Saints-Cowboys averaged a 12.6 HH rating - up 50% versus the 2017 10-game Thursday Night Football average (8.4 HH rating), and up 34% versus last year's Redskins-Cowboys matchup (9.4 HH rating).

Digital streaming across Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital platforms, Fox Sports digital platforms, and Yahoo Sports produced an average minute audience of 1.1 million - an increase of 155% versus the 2017 10-game average (439K) and up 142%versus last year's Week 13 Thursday Night Football matchup (463K).

Amazon Prime Video and Twitch reached a total of 2.9 million combined viewers worldwide for the Fox NFL Thursday pregame show and the Saints-Cowboys game. For the Saints-Cowboys game alone, 2.5 million worldwide viewers initiated a stream on Prime Video or Twitch. The average worldwide audience watching Thursday Night Football for at least 30 seconds on Prime Video or Twitch was 747K, a 109% increase over week 13 in 2017

Week 13 on Fox was led by New England's victory over Minnesota with a 13.5 rating (a 13% increase from last year) and 23.2 million viewers. Fox's early window, with 46% of the audience watching the Chicago Bears vs. the New York Giants, brought in an 8.75 rating and a 29% increase. The window saw 14.2 million viewers.

So far this season, Fox is outpacing its production from last season. On America's Game of the Week, this edition is seeing 15%, the regional window has a 27% (compared to last year's Week 13), Fox NFL Sunday is receiving a 11 increase, and Fox NFL Kickoff is 1% and is off to their best start ever as well

According to SportsMediaWatch, NBC's Sunday Night Football ratings suffered a rare decline in Week 13. Chargers-Steelers earned a 10.5 rating and 17.83 million viewers, down 7% in ratings and 9% in viewership from last year (Eagles-Seahawks: 11.3, 19.7M), but up 3% and a fraction of a percent, respectively, from 2016 (Panthers-Seahawks: 10.2, 17.75M).

Los Angeles' win posted the third-smallest audience on NBC this season, ahead of Bengals-Chiefs in Week 7 (16.0M) and Saints-Vikings opposite the World Series in Week 8 (14.1M)

Monday Night Football's presentation, featuring a Philadelphia Eagles' 28-13 victory over the Washington Redskins, averaged 11,356,000 viewers across ESPN and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen. This is an increase of 4% vs. last year's week 13 game (10,962,000 million viewers for Bengals-Steelers).

ESPN won the night among all networks, broadcast or cable, in households, viewers, and all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, 25-54) for the 13th straight Monday this fall. Redskins-Eagles was also the most-watched telecast of the night across all broadcast and cable networks among those same categories.

On ESPN,
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2018/12/05/ratings-roundup-national-title-...
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