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OSC Weekly Ratings Wrapup

by David Carlson
June 19, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)

Major League Rugby Tops WNBA and PLL

In a network head-to-head battle on Sunday, CBS's broadcast of the Major League Rugby championship bested both ABC's WNBA and NBC's Premier Lacrosse League telecasts. While rugby only beat out the WNBA in overall viewers by around 40k, it pulled double the rating in the 18-49 demographic. Are those numbers good enough to earn some regular season telecasts next year on CBS? The fact it was the championship probably meant little to the average viewer vs. the WNBA or lacrosse telecasts, so it does show some TV ratings promise for rugby compared with some of the other leagues.

Last Week's OSC Leagues Ratings Summary:

6/149pmESPN2CFLNot in Top 150
6/157pmESPNewsCFLNot in Top 150
6/1510pmESPN2CFL.05/164k
6/162:30pmNBCPLL.07/306k
6/163:30pmABCWNBA.06/471k
6/164pmCBSMLR Championship.13/510k

What were people watching Friday night instead of the CFL?

An article earlier this year on the new CFL & ESPN agreement stated that the 2018 average audience was 163k viewers, so it probably shouldn't be a surprise if CFL games don't often show up in the Top 150 cable shows of the day. The Saturday 10pm game came in right at that 2018 average.

With programs starting at 9pm or shows that were in progress that started at 8pm, these were the networks which made the Top 150 cable shows of the day at the 9pm hour in the 18-49 demographic, which ESPN2's CFL broadcast did not, with their total day ranking (in addition to the 5 OTA broadcast networks, which all had a demo rating of at least 0.1):

1 - A&E
2 - HGTV
3 - TNT
6 - WETV
9 - Food Network
13 - Discovery Channel
16 - History Channel
24 - Fox News
27 - Travel Channel
42 - MSNBC
52 - Lifetime
65 - DIY Channel
77 - ESPN (Boxing)
81 - CNN
85 - Oxygen
119 - Motor Trend

The lowest rated show of the day in the Top 150 was 0.03, which is around 48,000 people between 18-49 viewing, and the CFL did not rate high enough to make the list. Whether the CFL or ESPN care enough to put further effort into boosting that number remains to be seen. Perhaps ESPN is just happy to have the CFL as filler programming in the summer.

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