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SPORTS WRAP Ryder Without Tiger; Cowboys And Packers’ Big Score; Yankee Stadium Finale
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SPORTS WRAP Ryder Without Tiger; Cowboys And Packers’ Big Score; Yankee Stadium Finale

Each week, Nielsen Sports’ analysts offer their take on the biggest sports media headlines.

Ryder Cup Golf — Minus Tiger

Last Friday morning, 1.4 million ESPN viewers tuned in to Ryder Cup golf coverage from Louisville, Kentucky.  With the world’s best golfer, Tiger Woods, sidelined, golf fans were introduced to Team USA Captain Paul Azinger’s rag-tag group of Ryder Cup rookies.  On Saturday, Ryder Cup’s TV audience more than doubled — an average of 3.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the tournament action on NBC, and on Sunday, 3.9 million NBC viewers watched as the underdogs from the U.S. earned the U.S. its first Ryder Cup win in nine years.  Who says golf isn’t a team sport?

Record-Breaking Football Ratings

In the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys v. Green Bay Packers game last Sunday night (Sept. 21) set a season record for Sunday Night football TV viewing this fall — more than 21.7 million U.S. viewers tuned in for the game on NBC.  Meanwhile, ESPN’s streak of record-breaking Monday Night Football TV audiences continued with the New York Jets vs. San Diego Chargers game (Sept. 22), which drew this year’s fourth largest cable audience.  Could it be that Fantasy Football has finally entered the mainstream?

Date Network Sunday Night Football:

Matchup

Viewers (P2+) U.S. Average Audience

(% of Households) *

9/21/2008 NBC Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers 21,729,000 13.1
9/14/2008 NBC Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns 17,834,000 10.8
9/7/2008 NBC Chicago Bears @ Indianapolis Colts 18,351,000 11.2
9/4/2008 NBC Washington Redskins @ New York Giants 13,531,000 8.6
Source: The Nielsen Company (September 4, 2008 – September 21, 2008)
Note: Data includes Live and Same Day DVR viewing; percentage of U.S. households indicates the average audience during entire telecast.

Date Network Monday Night Football:

Matchup

Viewers (P2+) Coverage Area Audience

(% of Households) *

9/22/2008 ESPN New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers 11,881,000 8.9
9/15/2008 ESPN Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys 18,608,000 13.3
9/8/2008 ESPN Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders 9,665,000 7.3
9/8/2008 ESPN Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers 12,501,000 9.3
Source: The Nielsen Company (September 8, 2008 – September 22, 2008)
Note: Data includes Live and Same Day DVR viewing; percentage of U.S. cable households indicates the average audience during entire telecast.

Good-Bye, Yankee Stadium

Despite competition from the Emmys (12.3 million viewers on ABC) and Sunday Night Football (22 million viewers on NBC), Yankee Stadium’s last ever television appearance — during the Yankees v. Orioles game — drew 3.1 million viewers last Sunday night.  The telecast ranked as the seventh most-watched Sunday Night Baseball game this year.  Yankee Stadium is closing to make way for a new stadium, opening next season.