SPORTS WRAP Sunday Night Sports — Is More, Better

SPORTS WRAP Sunday Night Sports — Is More, Better

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

Professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey — and even NASCAR — all converge in October, making it one of the year’s busiest sports months.  Unfortunately, that plethora of options frequently presents sports fans with difficult TV viewing decisions.

Take this past Sunday — when NBC’s Sunday Night Football carried live coverage of the San Diego Chargers playing the New England Patriots.  Meanwhile, Game 3 of the MLB National League Championship Series aired live on FOX.

NBC’s broadcast drew an average audience of 13.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen, while FOX’s MLB coverage drew 8.8 million average viewers. 

The two games, broadcast simultaneously, triggered a fair bit of channel switching.  According to Nielsen Sports, 37% of NBC’s Sunday Night Football audience watched at least six minutes of FOX’s MLB coverage.  Meanwhile, 48% of those who watched the baseball game also watched at least six minutes of NBC’s NFL coverage.