This is weekend ratings breakdown, which takes a look at all the ratings from big sporting events over the past weekend. Numbers are from Sports Business Daily, while some of the numbers come from press releases via NBC and ESPN.
Saturday, May 11
12 p.m. ET - FA Cup Final: Manchester City vs. Wigan (Fox): 0.5
2 p.m. ET - The Players Championship: Third Round (NBC): 3.0
2:30 p.m. ET - The Road to Wembley (Fox): 0.3
4 p.m. ET - PBR (CBS): 0.6
7 p.m. ET - NASCAR Sprint Cup: Darlington (Fox): 3.5
8 p.m. ET - NBA Playoffs: New York vs. Indiana, Game 3 (ABC): 4.3
Sunday, May 12
2 p.m. ET - The Players Championship: Final Round (NBC): 5.7
3:30 p.m. ET - NBA Playoffs: San Antonio vs. Golden State, Game 4 (ABC): 4.1
4 p.m. ET - PBR (CBS): 0.5
Analysis: With a lighter sports weekend than usual, let's combine everything into one spot this time around. We'll break it down sport-by-sport.
Golf: NBC benefited with Tiger Woods winning the "fifth major" this weekend, as final round coverage of The Players' Championship drew the best rating for a non-major PGA broadcast since Woods' win at the Buick Invitational in 2006. Tiger, as we've known for years and years, means big ratings. His win at Doral was the previous highest rating of the season for the PGA (4.4). The 5.7 for Sunday's final round ties with Woods' 2001 win as the highest rating for any round of the tournament since 1991. Saturday's third round was up 20 percent from 2012's comparable round.
NBA: Another example of the little difference left between broadcast and cable: ESPN had the Miami Heat, ABC did not, and ESPN drew better NBA ratings this weekend. Friday's Heat-Bulls Game 2 drew a 5.2 overnight, the highest for any basketball game this weekend, and up 44 percent from Celtics-Sixers Game 4 in the same timeslot last season. Game 3 of Spurs-Warriors on Friday drew a 4.7. Despite having much smaller markets involved (though the Bay Area is quite large), it was down just 11 percent from Thunder-Lakers in 2012.
On Saturday, Game 3 of the Thunder-Grizzlies series drew a 2.7 rating, down seven percent from Spurs-Clippers in 2012, which aired on ABC. The Knicks-Pacers primetime showcase drew a 4.3 overnight, down 25 percent from the last time the NBA aired a prime-time game on this weekend, Heat-Celtics in 2011. It was the lowest overnight for a prime-time NBA Playoff game on broadcast since 2009, when Cavs-Hawks drew a 4.0 in the LeBron era.
Sunday's showcase game, Spurs-Warriors, actually drew a lower rating in the afternoon on broadcast than it did in cable prime-time. The game scored a 4.1 rating, the third-lowest rating of the NBA Playoffs on ABC. It was down 37 percent from Heat-Pacers Game 4 last year.
NASCAR: The Sprint Cup continues to slide a bit in these primetime showcases on Saturday nights. The 3.5 was the lowest overnight for the Darlington event since Fox took over broadcasting it 2001. It was tied with April 13's Texas race as the second-lowest rated race of the season. All three of the lowest-rated races have aired in prime-time on Saturdays. The only good news was that the ratings were even with last year.
NHL: Last night's Red Wings-Ducks Game 7 drew an 0.7 overnight rating, the best so far of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on cable. Game 6 between the Bruins and Leafs earlier in the evening drew an 0.6, creating a rare case when a late night NHL game grew in ratings from the prime-time game.