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OSC Weekly Ratings Wrapup

by David Carlson
September 25, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)

PLL Fails to Top 300,000 Viewers for Championship Final

Many inside the lacrosse world were eagerly anticipating the championship weekend for the PLL. Some on Twitter were even looking forward to the "most people to ever watch lacrosse on TV in a single day" Saturday. While the game was great and the in-arena atmosphere came through, the TV audience did not. While a hard number is still not available publicly, the telecast did not draw the 300,000 eyeballs needed to get on the weekly list of sports programs reported, which is far from the 476k that the 2016 NCAA Final registered on ESPN2.

While this is certainly a disappointment for the PLL and the lacrosse community in general, considering it was played on a Saturday afternoon full of college football, it probably shouldn't have been too surprising. Whether the PLL will try to start its season earlier to avoid ending in September or employ other TV strategies next year such as a Friday night final, it has certainly shown that you can't take on NFL or top NCAA program football in the fall and think you'll get much of a sports audience.

WNBA Playoffs trail equivalent rounds in 2018

The WNBA season is going about a month longer into the year than in 2018 this season, and it is not showing to be a good choice for TV audiences. This week's semi-finals games on ESPN2 brought in demo ratings of .04-.07, and lower on the Sunday games that didn't get ranked, and total audiences in the 178-293k range.

In 2018 for the semifinals, which took place from Aug. 26 - Sept. 4, the ratings were reported as follows (all on ESPN2 unless noted):

8/31.05/148k (ESPNews)
9/4.08/256k (ESPNews)

Leagues such as the WNBA and PLL can say that they need to play on their own schedules and not worry about things like when the football seasons start on TV, and maybe in the long-term they do need to carve out their own schedule. But as the results show, the short term ratings suffer in the meantime.

Last Week's OSC Leagues Ratings Summary:

9/177:30pmESPNewsNWSLNot in Top 150
9/178pmFS1AAA ChampionshipNot in Top 150
9/17 8:45pmESPN2WNBA Playoffs.07/293k
9/176:30pmESPN2WNBA Playoffs.05/214k
9/198:30pmESPN2WNBA Playoffs.05/227k
9/196:30pmESPN2WNBA Playoffs.04/178k
9/212:30pmNBCPLL ChampionshipNot Over 300k Viewers
9/223pmESPN2WNBA PlayoffsNot in Top 150
9/225pmESPN2WNBA PlayoffsNot in Top 150

Coming up this week with OSC league programming on TV:

9/24ESPN2WNBA Playoffs
9/24ESPN2WNBA Playoffs
9/26ESPN2WNBA Playoffs
9/26ESPN2WNBA Playoffs

Follow OSC TV and ratings discussion at

NOTE: Don't know what the "demo" is? Unsure of why the different ratings numbers don't match up? Read our explanation of TV ratings in our first article here.

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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from September 25, 2019

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