NFL, NBA Take Nielsen Ratings Hit: Schedule Disruptions Cited

Post- and end-of-the-season action for TV sports franchises has seen sharply lower overall viewership as a result of sports competition caused by disruptions in scheduling due to COVID-19, as well as lower Persons Using Television (PUT) data.
MoffettNathanson Research says the returning NBA and NHL have been impacted by lower PUT data in August and September versus the April and May periods -- the former period being one that traditionally sees lower PUT data.

Nielsen prime-time PUT levels for persons two years and older a year ago were at 26.1 in August (down 9% versus April’s numbers) and 27.1 for September (down 3% versus May).

The NBA playoff action for all 66 telecasts -- starting in August -- is down 33% to an average 2.4 million viewers per game, according to Nielsen’s live program-plus-same day viewing. Twenty-four prime-time telecasts are down 5% to 3.3 million.

A total of 69 NHL playoff games have seen a 28% drop to an average 749,000 Nielsen-measured viewers per game.

Adding in the return of virtually all TV sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all this might be having an effect on the first week of the NFL, with the average Nielsen-measured ratings for all Fox, CBS, NBC, and ESPN NFL telecasts down 8% to an average 15.8 million viewers.



Specifically, ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and NBC’s “NFL Kickoff” game were hit with lower numbers.

MoffettNathanson notes that the NFL’s opening day last Thursday marked the first time in history that the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL and MLS all played on the same day.

On that day, the big NFL Kickoff game was down 7% to 20.6 million viewers compared to the same game a year ago.
3 comments about "NFL, NBA Take Nielsen Ratings Hit: Schedule Disruptions Cited".
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  1. Michael Pursel from Pursel Advertising, September 18, 2020 at 10:55 a.m.

    Great analysas of why viewing is down.  However, NO mention of SJW on the playing field.  I guess that may have had absolutely ZERO effect on viewership, even though there are a sizeable number of FORMER fans who say, BS to all the Social Justice postering.   There are some who say..Please, Just play ball, just entertain.  Do you SJW work Off the Field.  But that had zero to do with the ratings.  SMH

  2. Monique Ramsey from Cosmetic Social Media, September 18, 2020 at 10:57 a.m.

    HAHA... love that they are contributing lower numbers to everything EXCEPT the #boycott by fans. People are sick of politics in sports, and until sports figures this out, the numbers will be lower. Just look at what's happened to the Oscars viewership over the last few years.

  3. Jeff Schumann from Manhattan-Digital LLC, September 24, 2020 at 11:29 a.m.

    While I agree with some of the political issues with the game. I also have to respect the NBA to allow free peach as long as it doesn’t interfere with the game itself.

    In some cases like NASCAR the winner has already been chosen, so why even race. That same statement was given to me by other racing people who have switch to Indy cars and some local tracks that you can get on the Internet now. Screw the communist systematic way that sports

    With the allotment of betting, we have seen the degradation of baseball and the NFL calls from so-called professional ump and refs. People are tired of these groups and the hijacking of their sports which has been claimed by the owners. One hat has to question the leadership in the sports move the New York which is riddled with corruption and I guarantee we will see people being arrested for rigging games.

    We have charts posted of the huge decline in sports watching because of the corruption in sports and the people who control it. This is not a democracy anymore but a dictatorship! When Ala-Cart OTT comes you will see the numbers of subscribers decrease even further. Then we can see the players salaries reflect that change to more reasonable numbers. As now, consumers are forced to carry these channels. That again is another reason people are rejecting linear programming and especially sports.

    We cannot sustain the level of payments and now the owners expect big payouts. That is why the NFL is suffering especially after they lose a player, because they have no backup. They limit the rosters and at the level of play, people will get hurt!

    So in my conclusion, the players need to be able to play the game, which what this is all about. Take the politics out and get the owners out of way. That goes with the commissioner especially baseball which they are trying to ruin and succeeding. Smoltz go find another job, because you suck as an announcer and rule change. You and your overpaid clowns on TV are ruining the game for everyone!

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