NBC Sports Network TV Ratings Extremely Low

Posted by | December 29, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Exacerbated by the NHL owners’ lockout, television ratings for the NBC Sports Network are perhaps worse than one might have imagined.

The channel formerly known as the Outdoor Life Network is being held afloat by hunting and fishing programming. The week of December 17-23, the four most-viewed events on NBCSN were fishing telecasts, with “Bill Dance Outdoors” rounding out the top five.

Lest that be perceived as an isolated incident, at least one hunting and/or fishing show has ranked in the top five in each of the past four weeks.

Over the past four weeks (Nov. 26-Dec. 23), the top program on NBCSN was bonus coverage of the 49ers/Patriots “Sunday Night Football” game (1.2M). Only one other program during that span even cracked 200,000 viewers — a live boxing telecast on December 8 (216K). [Click here for chart.]

While live events attracted the biggest audiences over the past month, they have not always performed well. The December 18 Western Kentucky/VCU college basketball game drew just 54,000 viewers, ranking as the network’s top live sporting event of the week, but only the 45th-most viewed program overall.

The biggest failure for NBCSN may be studio programming. Over the past month, not a single episode of “The Lights,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “NBC Sports Talk,” “Pro Football Talk,” or “Costas Tonight” has managed to attract 100,000 viewers. If one wants to be charitable, the most recent new episode of “Costas Tonight” had 61,000 viewers, with 51,000 tuning in for a re-air the same night.

It should be pointed out that comparisons were not available to last year, when NBCSN was still Versus and the NHL season was played as scheduled. Perhaps these numbers are solid compared to what NBCSN has earned in previous years.

Listed are the five most-viewed programs on NBC Sports Network in each of the past four weeks, as well as additional programs of interest.

Most-Viewed Programs on NBCSN
Past four weeks

# Date Time Show Type Rating Viewers
November 26-December 2
1 Sat., 12/1/12 11 AM "Winchester Legends" Hunting
0.1
146K
2 Wed., 11/28/12 9 PM "Onward Notre Dame" NCAA Football
0.1
130K
3 Sun., 12/2/12 7:30 PM "Dangerous Game" Hunting
0.1
124K
4 Sat., 12/1/12 10:30 AM "Real Hunting" Hunting
0.1
116K
5 Sun., 12/2/12 10:30 AM "Napa’s North to Alaska" Outdoors
0.1
113K
13 Fri., 11/30/12 7:30 PM Boston College/Boston Univ. (top live event) NCAA Hockey
0.0
87K
23 Wed., 11/28/12 10 PM "NFL Turning Point" (top episode) NFL
0.1
77K
T35 Thu., 11/29/12 5 PM "Pro Football Talk" (top episode) NFL
0.0
67K
66 Thu., 11/29/12 4 PM "Best of The Dan Patrick Show" (top episode) General
0.0
48K
T77 Thu., 11/29/12 6 PM "NBC Sports Talk" (top episode) General
0.0
38K
T127 Thu., 11/29/12 8 AM "The Lights" (top episode) General
0.0
21K
December 3-9
1 Sat., 12/8/12 10:30 PM "NBCSN Fight Night" (top live event) Boxing
0.2
216K
2 Sun., 12/9/12 8:30 PM "Winchester Whitetail Revolution" Hunting
0.1
183K
3 Sun., 12/9/12 10 PM "Elk Fever" Hunting
0.1
146K
4 Sun., 12/9/12 9 PM "Gun It with Benny Spies" Hunting
0.1
145K
5 Sat., 12/8/12 11:30 AM "Ram Outdoorsman" Outdoors
0.1
143K
35 Sat., 12/8/12 12:30 AM "NFL Turning Point" (top episode) NFL
0.1
70K
42 Thu., 12/6/12 9 PM "Costas Tonight" (new) General
0.0
61K
T56 Mon., 12/3/12 9 AM "The Dan Patrick Show" (top episode) General
0.0
49K
T69 Thu., 12/6/12 6 PM "NBC Sports Talk" (top episode) General
0.0
41K
T93 Fri., 12/7/12 5 PM "Pro Football Talk" (top episode) NFL
0.0
30K
T100 Thu., 12/6/12 8 AM "The Lights" (top episode) General
0.0
28K
December 10-16
1 Sun., 12/16/12 8:30 PM 49ers/Patriots bonus coverage (top live event) NFL
0.7
1.2M
2 Sat., 12/15/12 7 PM United States/China (live) Women’s Soccer
0.1
178K
3 Sat., 12/15/12 1 PM "Red Bull Signature Series" Action Sports
0.1
140K
4 Sat., 12/15/12 11 AM "Winchester Legends" Hunting
0.1
126K
5 Wed., 12/12/12 9 PM "Still Standing: The Earl Campbell Story" NFL
0.1
115K
13 Wed., 12/12/12 10 PM "NFL Turning Point" (top episode) NFL
0.1
93K
T43 Mon., 12/10/12 5 PM "Pro Football Talk" (top episode) NFL
0.0
56K
T56 Fri., 12/14/12 9 AM "The Dan Patrick Show" (top episode) General
0.0
48K
T60 Thu., 12/13/12 6 PM "NBC Sports Talk" (top episode) General
0.0
46K
T135 Fri., 12/14/12 8 AM "The Lights" (top episode) General
0.0
20K
December 17-23
1 Sun., 12/23/12 10:30 AM "Hunt For Big Fish with Larry Dahlberg" Fishing
0.1
177K
2 Sat., 12/22/12 11 AM "Bass 2 Billfish" Fishing
0.1
165K
3 Sat., 12/22/12 12:30 PM "George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater" Fishing
0.1
160K
4 Sat., 12/22/12 11:30 AM "Bass 2 Billfish" Fishing
0.1
154K
5 Sun., 12/23/12 10 AM "Bill Dance Outdoors" Outdoors
0.1
151K
25 Fri., 12/21/12 10 PM "NFL Turning Point" (top episode) NFL
0.1
73K
45 Tue., 12/18/12 7 PM Western Kentucky/VCU (top live event) College Hoops
0.0
54K
T46 Thu., 12/20/12 5 PM "Pro Football Talk" (top episode) NFL
0.0
53K
T52 Fri., 12/21/12 9 AM "The Dan Patrick Show" (top episode — tie) General
0.0
47K
T52 Thu., 12/20/12 4 PM "Best of The Dan Patrick Show" (top episode — tie) General
0.0
47K
T106 Tue., 12/18/12 8 AM "The Lights" (top episode) General
0.0
27K
T119 Mon., 12/17/12 6 PM "NBC Sports Talk" (top episode — tie) General
0.0
24K
T119 Thu., 12/20/12 6 PM "NBC Sports Talk" (top episode — tie) General
0.0
24K

(Numbers from Son of the Bronx [1], [2], [3], [4])

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/2SXUVOZCVS455CPRNXAXBMH2SE James

    This is really disappointing because NBCSN does a lot better job with their studio shows than ESPN does. I’m wondering of not having the presence of a top 4 sport like the NHL is hurting them. NBCSN has what it takes to be a major sports network but they really need to buy more live sporting coverage. The NBA contact in 2016 would help dearly.

    NBC has a great Olympic sporting package for those sports like figure skating, gymnastics, and other events that NBC usually shows during their weekend sporting packages that should be increased on NBCSN. If you don’t have Universal Sports then you don’t see those rebroadcasts. NBC should up the presence of boxing too on their network since these fights seem to be working for them, maybe a MMA package too.

    With the WWE on Universal networks I’m surprised the WWE never developed a show for NBCSN.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/B75CYIRPV4GKVXP3XDY2QHCIHM T

      problem with NBCSN and CBSSN is no one knows where they are unlike ESPN. It’s not appointment TV unless a live event is on. Dan Patrick’s ego must really be stunned knowing he has 47-thousand viewers for his over-produced show while guys killing deer and bass fishing have triple the audience. Would love to know how many people watch Rome on CBS compared to his ESPN show? 

  • Mark McKee

    NBC Sports gets what they deserve, by keeping their revamped “fishing channel” in the upper tier packages. On Dish Network’s website, they claim it is available in their Top 200 package, and after you purchase, you find it isn’t available, and you have to go up to the 250 package, just to get that single extra sports network. I’m missing a lot of hockey & Doc Emerick, because basically NBC, with the NHL’s blessing, is holding hockey fans hostage. I guess they would prefer that the average middle class Joe, would just go away so hockey can finally become a sport for the well-heeled, like, say, equestrian sports.