TV Ratings: NBC’s Breeders’ Cup Rating Up Big (Also: NBA on TNT and ESPN)


The Breeders’ Cup return to NBC was up huge compared to last year, but still trailed 2010. In other news, TNT and ESPN suffered declines for NBA coverage last week.

  • Breeders’ Cup Up Big on NBC, Still Down From ’11: Primetime coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Classic drew a 2.0 final rating and 3.056 million viewers on NBC November 3, up 100% in ratings and 91% in viewership from coverage on ESPN in an earlier timeslot last year (1.0, 1.6M), but down 20% and 25%, respectively, from coverage on ESPN in 2010 (2.5, 4.095M). Breeders’ Cup coverage on the NBC Sports Network averaged 358,000 viewers, down 74% from coverage on ESPN last year (1.4M). (Last week’s numbers from Bloodhorse, Sports Business Daily)
  • Declines For NBA on TNT Thursday: Thursday’s Thunder/Bulls NBA regular season game drew 1.848 million viewers on TNT, down 8% from Knicks/Bulls in 2010 (2.004M), and down 22% from Bulls/Cavaliers in 2009 (2.354M). Later in the night, Clippers/Trail Blazers drew 1.407 million, down 19% from Thunder/Blazers in 2010 (1.734M). Last year’s doubleheader, which was to feature Thunder/Bulls and Spurs/Trail Blazers, was canceled due to the NBA owners’ lockout of players. (Thursday’s numbers from The Futon Critic)
  • ESPN’s Sixers/Hornets Game Down Big As Well: ESPN drew just 1.065 million viewers for Wednesday’s Sixers/Hornets NBA regular season game, down 56% from Bucks/Celtics in 2010 (2.451M), and down 3% from Heat/Wizards in 2009 (1.103M). Hornets rookie Anthony Davis, the only reason the game was on the schedule, did not play. Later in the night, Spurs/Clippers drew 1.336 million — down 43% from Lakers/Kings in 2010 (2.329M), but up 14% from Mavericks/Hornets in 2009 (1.176M). Last year’s Rockets/Sixers and Spurs/Lakers doubleheader was canceled. (Wednesday’s numbers from The Futon Critic)

CORRECTION 11/17/12: The NBA on TNT doubleheader was previously compared to the wrong week in 2010.