TV Ratings: Breeders’ Cup Overnight Up on NBC (Also: NBA on ESPN, Houston Rockets)

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Overnight ratings nearly doubled for coverage of the Breeders’ Cup on NBC Saturday night. In other news, ESPN set a local ratings record for Friday’s Clippers/Lakers game, and distribution issues have led to low local ratings for the Houston Rockets.

  • Primetime Breeders Cup Up From Last Year, Down From ’10: Saturday’s primetime coverage of The Breeders’ Cup drew a 2.2 overnight rating on NBC, up 83% from coverage on ESPN in an earlier timeslot last year (1.2), but down 29% from coverage on ESPN in 2010 (3.1). (Sports Business Daily)
  • Clippers/Lakers Sets L.A. Record: Friday’s Clippers/Lakers NBA regular season game on ESPN set record-highs in home market Los Angeles (5.9) and neutral market Las Vegas (4.8). Nationally, the game drew 3.062 million viewers — down 3% from Lakers/Suns in 2010, but up 42% from Mavericks/Lakers in 2009 (2.164M). The Heat/Knicks game earlier in the night drew 2.783 million, down 26% from Magic/Heat in 2010 (3.774M), but up 81% from Bulls/Celtics in 2009 (1.541M). Keep in mind the New York market was not factored into the results due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy. (ESPN, The Futon Critic)
  • Low Distribution Hurts Rockets Ratings: Despite the modest hype surrounding the team, the Rockets’ first two games this season have drawn low ratings in Houston. The team’s season opener against the Pistons drew only a 1.2 rating on Comcast SportsNet Houston last Wednesday, below the Rockets’ average rating on Fox Sports Houston last year (1.6). Meanwhile, Friday’s home opener against the Trail Blazers drew an even lower 1.0. It should be pointed out that CSN Houston is currently available in only 40% of local households, according to the Houston Chronicle. (Houston Chronicle 1], [2])
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