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OSC Weekly Ratings Wrapup

by David Carlson
October 2, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)

A ratings report mistake provides context for league ratings

When we report ratings every week in this article, we have two main public sources for most of the numbers. First is the weekly list of all sports programs on OTA (over the air) and cable channels that get at least 300k viewers. Most weekend sports programming on OTA networks make this list, although the PLL Final on NBC a week ago Saturday did not. Most of the games that OSC covers do not make this list, other than the Alliance of American Football games from earlier this year and the occasional Major League Soccer contest.

The second source is the daily list of Top 150 Cable originals. I am pointing out the word "originals" here, because, it is important to note that, it is not the Top 150 Cable shows on TV for that day, and an error on Thursday's list shows that if it was a full list of shows, whether new/live or reruns of old comedies/dramas, fewer game broadcasts might make the list.

Here is the Thursday 9/26 Top 150 list.

You'll notice that six rerun broadcasts of Friends on TBS made the Top 50, all with a pretty good .17-.18 18-49 demo rating, and 350-450k total viewers. Reruns such as this usually are not listed at all, and an error in marking the shows as originals likely got them onto the list. Even so, it gives us a little peek into the fact that it's possible that reruns on TBS, TNT, USA, F/X, etc. could drop much of what is in these "Top 150 Originals" lists down into the 200-300s or lower for the day of all programming. It's good to keep in mind that these lists typically track originals only.

To be fair, Friends just marked its 25th anniversary, an accomplishment that landed the show in theaters and generated a few headlines, so maybe it's not the typical rerun right now. The initial AAF broadcast on TNT garnered a million viewers, and the second showing 450,000, equaling the peak viewership of Friends on TBS last week. NFL Network broadcasts, carried by fewer cable systems and often at lower channel numbers, generally landed in the 300,000 to 500,000 viewer range.

Last Week's OSC Leagues Ratings Summary:

9/259pmESPN2NWSLNot in Top 150
9/292pmESPN2NWSLNot in Top 150
9/295pmFS1MLSNot in Top 150
9/297:30pmFS1MLSNot in Top 150

It shouldn't be surprising that most sports going against the NFL on Sundays in the fall are going to get poor enough ratings as to not rate high enough to make the Top 150 originals. The first game of the WNBA finals was able to sneak in with a .07 demo rating. The NWSL didn't make the Top 150 on Sunday afternoon or Tuesday evening.

Coming up this week with OSC league programming on TV:

10/18pESPNWNBA Finals Gm 2
10/63:30pABCWNBA Finals Gm 3

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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