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