Ratings: Bedard, WNBA Finals, racing and more

Connor Bedard’s second game achieved another remarkable feat in terms of viewership. Additionally, the WNBA Finals witnessed a blowout resulting in the lowest viewership for Game 2 in three years. Furthermore, NASCAR and F1 faced declines over the weekend, and the NWSL set a new record.

Bedard’s second game becomes the highest-rated indoor NHL game on TNT

On Wednesday, the NHL regular season game between the Blackhawks and Bruins, which was the second game in #1 pick Connor Bedard‘s career, garnered an average rating of 0.49 and 896,000 viewers on TNT. This marked the network’s largest NHL regular season audience ever, excluding the Winter Classic. Ratings saw a 36% increase and viewership surged by 42% compared to the Bruins-Capitals game in the same time slot last year, which had a rating of 0.36 and 629,000 viewers.

As previously mentioned, Bedard’s debut on Tuesday night recorded an average of 1.4 million viewers on ESPN, making it the most-watched NHL regular season game ever on cable, excluding the Winter Classic.

Despite the record-breaking debut, the Avalanche-Kings nightcap experienced a 28% decline from the previous year with 377,000 viewers. However, the doubleheader still managed to attract an overall viewership increase of 15% with 660,000 viewers.

Least-watched WNBA Finals Game 2 in three years as Aces dominate

The Liberty-Aces Game 2 of the WNBA Finals garnered a rating of 0.40 and 626,000 viewers on ESPN on Wednesday night. This marked the lowest viewership for a Game 2 in three years, since the Aces-Storm game in the 2020 “bubble” which had 409,000 viewers. The Aces’ dominant victory saw a 4% decline in viewership compared to the Sun-Aces Game 2 last year, which had 649,000 viewers.

This performance in Game 2 was the opposite of Game 1, which became the most-watched WNBA Finals opener since 2000.

Declines for NASCAR and F1 over the weekend

The NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at the Charlotte “Roval” on Sunday recorded a rating of 1.3 and 2.28 million viewers on NBC. This made it the least-watched Cup Series race at the track since at least 2001, excluding a midweek race added hastily in May 2020. Ratings fell by 13% and viewership dropped by 5% compared to last year’s race, which had a rating of 1.5 and 2.39 million viewers.

The Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix, airing on the same afternoon, achieved a rating of 0.45 and 824,000 viewers on ESPN. This marks a 10% decline in ratings and a 3% decline in viewership compared to the previous edition of the race in 2021, which had a rating of 0.50 and 850,000 viewers. The viewership peaked at 1.07 million in the final quarter-hour.

Although NASCAR nearly tripled F1 in overall viewership, it only had a negligible lead over F1 in the adults 18-34 demographic (161,000 to 157,000) and a modest lead in the adults 18-49 demographic (359,000 to 336,000).

Also: NWSL, Premier League, NBA preseason

– Last Friday’s Washington-OL Reign NWSL match, which marked Megan Rapinoe’s career finale, averaged a rating of 0.41 and 683,000 viewers on primetime CBS. This made it the second most-watched match in league history, only trailing last year’s championship match on CBS (915,000 viewers).

– According to Adobe Analytics, last Sunday’s Arsenal-Manchester City English Premier League match on Peacock attracted an average of 871,000 viewers. This match became the most-streamed Premier League match on record, only trailing Chelsea-Liverpool in August (973,000 viewers) and Liverpool-Arsenal last April (872,000 viewers). It outperformed all other Premier League matches on linear television over the weekend.

– The NBA preseason game between the Sixers and Celtics on Sunday recorded a rating of 0.24 and 421,000 viewers on ESPN, showing a decline from last year’s preseason opener between the Heat and Nets on a Thursday night (648,000 viewers). The Tuesday night TNT game between the Nuggets and Suns averaged 400,000 viewers, down from the previous year’s preseason debut of Pistons-Knicks which had 466,000 viewers.

For more sports ratings, please refer to the latest weekly charts. Additional numbers from WBD Sports PR, Programming Insider 10.12, NBC Sports PR, and Sports TV Ratings 10.11.


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