The AL East race attracted solid numbers on FOX in the face of college football competition. In other news, FOX had another week-to-week increase for college football coverage, and Major League Soccer had an inauspicious debut on NBC.
- Considering the Competition, Strong Numbers For MLB on FOX: Even opposite college football, regional Major League Baseball action featuring Rays/Yankees earned a 2.1 overnight rating on FOX Saturday afternoon — up 75% from coverage featuring Twins/Tigers last year (1.2), and up 40% from coverage featuring Braves/Mets in 2010 (1.5). The 2.1 is tied as the highest overnight for an MLB telecast on FOX since July 7. (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)
- Another Week-to-Week Increase For College Football on FOX: Saturday’s USC/Stanford college football game earned a 2.5 overnight rating on FOX, up a tick from Nebraska/UCLA a week earlier (2.4), and up 79% from Hawaii/USC two weeks ago (1.4). The game trailed ABC’s “Saturday Night Football” (3.3) by 24% — a substantial margin, but much smaller than the 70% gap between the networks in week one of the season. (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)
- Rough Debut For MLS on NBC: The debut of Major League Soccer on the NBC broadcast network, pitting the Sounders against the Timbers, drew a 0.4 overnight rating on NBC Saturday afternoon. The match earned the lowest overnight of the weekend for a live sporting event on broadcast. Of note, the match was not the top soccer telecast on NBC over the weekend — the network drew a 0.5 for Sunday’s United States/Australia women’s soccer friendly. (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)