The 2013 NASCAR season got off to a rough start Saturday night, as the Sprint Unlimited hit a record-low in overnight ratings. In other news, CBS had a pair of big increases for college basketball coverage over the weekend, and the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge suffered a steep decline on TNT.
- The NASCAR Sprint Unlimited from Daytona earned a 3.3 overnight rating on FOX Saturday night, down 18% from last year (4.0), down 15% from 2011 (3.9), and easily the network’s lowest overnight ever for the event. The Sprint Unlimited finished well behind TNT’s NBA All-Star Saturday Night in the metered markets (4.3), though the gap should narrow when the final numbers are released. (Weekend numbers form Sports Business Daily)
- Sunday’s Ohio State/Wisconsin men’s college basketball game earned a 1.6 overnight rating on CBS, up 78% from Michigan State/Purdue last year (0.9), but down 20% from Ohio State/Purdue in 2011 (2.0). On Saturday, Tennessee’s blowout of Kentucky scored a 1.3 overnight — up 63% from regional action last year (0.8), and up 30% from regional action in 2011 (1.0).
- Friday’s NBA Rising Stars Challenge drew 1.9 million viewers on TNT, down 31% from last year’s record audience of 2.8 million viewers, and down 22% from 2011 (2.4M). Earlier in the night, the 2013 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game drew 2.3 million viewers on ESPN — down 4% from last year and 2011 (2.4M both years), and the least-viewed Celebrity Game since 2010 (2.1M). (Fri. numbers from The Futon Critic)