Local Broadcast Television Scores Big Ratings Win With NFL Playoffs Viewers Overwhelmingly Prefer NFL on Local Stations Versus Cable

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Local Broadcast Television Scores Big Ratings Win With NFL Playoffs Viewers Overwhelmingly Prefer NFL on Local Stations Versus Cable

Download PowerPoint | TVB Press Release

“… local broadcast television remains the preferred outlet for NFL viewership”

TVB President and CEO, Steve Lanzano stated, “Game after game and season after season, ratings data confirms that local broadcast television remains the preferred outlet for NFL viewership. This year’s Thursday Night Football airings were another tremendous win for local affiliate stations, with local CBS household ratings and male 25-54 ratings as high as 13 times and 10 times greater, respectively, than viewership on NFLN. Local television continues to dominate the live sports category with reach, engagement and influence that remains unrivaled by any other platform, providing marketers with a unique opportunity to optimize the results of their brand promotion, especially during the NFL season when fans and viewers are highly engaged with this immensely popular programming.”

Post-Season

Last year, ESPN aired their first playoff game, which was also shown on a broadcast station in the playing teams’ local market. This year, the NFL had ESPN simulcast their playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans on the ABC network.

Highlights of the results of TVB’s analysis include:

  • When the games aired on both ABC and ESPN:
    • ABC had a 14.8 national HH rating and a 12.2 national male 25-54 rating compared to ESPN, which averaged a 3.7 national HH rating and a 3.1 national male 25-54 rating
      • ABC’s national HH rating was about 4.0 times higher than ESPN’s
    • In Kansas City, ABC (KMBC) had a 45.4 HH rating compared to ESPN, which had a 6.6 HH rating
      • KMBC had a 6.9 times higher HH rating than ESPN, a variance of 588%
    • In Houston, ABC (KTRK) had a 28.2 HH rating, a 20.3 adult 25-54 rating and a 23.5 male 25-54 rating compared to ESPN, which had a 4.4 HH rating, a 2.7 adult 25-54 rating and a 3.0 male 25-54 rating
      • KTRK had a 6.4 times higher HH rating than ESPN, a variance of 541% and also out-delivered ESPN by nearly 652% among adults 25-54 and nearly 683% among men 25-54
  • For the other playoff games, which aired that weekend on CBS, NBC and FOX, the teams’ local broadcast stations averaged a 48.8 HH rating compared to a 20.1 national broadcast HH rating, a 143% advantage

Regular Season

CBS and NFLN teamed up for the second consecutive season to air eight Thursday night games in 2015. The remainder of the Thursday games aired on NFLN and were simulcast on broadcast television stations in the primary markets of the participating teams. NFLN also carried two bonus Saturday night games in weeks 15 and 16 of the NFL season. TVB’s Thursday Night Football analysis compares the outperformance of games airing on broadcast (CBS) over cable (NFLN) for both the 2015 and 2014 seasons.

Highlights of the results of TVB’s analysis include:

  • When the games aired on both CBS and NFLN (weeks 2-8 and week 13):
    • CBS nationally averaged a 10.9 HH rating and a 9.2 male 25-54 rating compared to the NFLN, which averaged a 2.1 HH rating and a 2.4 male 25-54 rating
    • CBS HH rating increased by 6% in the 2015 season, up to a 10.9 rating from 10.3 in 2014
    • CBS male 25-54 rating increased by 5% in the 2015 season, up to a 9.2 rating from 8.8 in 2014
  • Local CBS affiliates averaged a 28.9 HH rating compared to a 3.8 HH rating on NFLN, a 661% advantage
  • When CBS affiliates continued to carry the NFLN-only games in the two playing teams’ markets during weeks 9-11 and 14-16, viewers continued to prefer the local broadcast option:
    • During week 9 in Cincinnati, WKRC delivered a 40.0 HH rating, compared to a 4.8 HH rating on NFLN
    • During week 10 in Buffalo, WIVB delivered a 37.7 HH rating, compared to a 5.2 rating on NFLN
    • During week 14 in Phoenix, KPHO delivered a 24.8 HH rating, compared to a 5.6 rating on NFLN

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