With many major TV sports off the air, some returning TV franchises -- golf, NASCAR, and horse racing -- have seen slight to major declines in viewing levels for the most recent reporting week versus the same time period a year ago.
The highest-rated sporting event for June 15 through June 21 was NBC’s “Belmont Stakes” -- posting 3.3 million viewers in the Nielsen-measured live program-plus-same
day time-shifted metric.
The race -- an event that was pushed back several weeks due to the COVID-29 pandemic, which has postponed or cancelled many major TV sports events since March -- was down 33% versus a year ago. A year ago, on June 8, the race pulled in 4.9 million viewers.
Fox’s “WWE Friday Night Smackdown” came in at 2.07 million, followed by Fox’s Sunday “Geico 500” race with 2.06 million and a CBS PGA golf “RBC Heritage” event, also on Sunday, at 2.04 million.
Looking at similar sporting events, a Fox Sports 1 Nascar Sonoma race a year ago pulled in 2.5 million viewers on a Sunday, while CBS' golf event “Travelers Championship” took in 2.2 million.
A year ago, for the same week, the Fox’s Women’s World Cup FIFA Soccer event pulled in 3.7 million viewers for a Sweden-USA match on a Thursday, while another 2.8 million watched two powerhouse soccer countries compete -- France and Brazil -- taking in 2.8 million viewers.
Fox’s Major League Baseball coverage on a Saturday a year ago averaged 2.9 million viewers.
Six different sport events averaged one million viewers or more for the most recent week, while a year ago 17 different sports programs had an average of one million viewers or more.