Weekend Ratings Breakdown: Big drops for NBA Playoffs, MLB on Fox

Stephen Dunn

The opening game of Grizzlies/Spurs on ABC drew the lowest ratings for a conference final Game 1 since 2007, and pretty much everything else this weekend dropped, too.

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 18

1 p.m. ET - Stanley Cup Playoffs: Detroit vs. Chicago, Game 2 (NBC): 1.4
3 p.m. ET -
PGA: Byron Nelson Championship, Third Round (CBS): 1.3
4 p.m. ET -
MLB on Fox: regional action (Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia, Tampa Bay vs. Baltimore, CHI White Sox vs. LA Angels) (Fox): 1.4
5:45 p.m. ET -
Preakness Stakes (NBC): 6.0
8 p.m. ET -
NBA Playoffs: New York vs. Indiana, Game 6 (ESPN): 4.1

Sunday, May 19

1 p.m. ET - Amgen Tour of California: Stage 8 (NBC): 0.6
3 p.m. ET -
NBA Countdown (ABC): 1.4
3 p.m. ET -
PGA Tour: Byron Nelson Championship, Final Round (CBS): 2.1
3 p.m. ET -
Stanley Cup Playoffs: NY Rangers vs. Boston, Game 2 (NBC): 1.9
3:30 p.m. ET -
NBA Playoffs: Memphis vs. San Antonio, Game 1 (ABC): 3.9
7:30 p.m. ET -
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa, Game 3 (NBCSN): 1.1
8 p.m. ET -
Sunday Night Baseball: Detroit vs. Texas (ESPN): 1.3

Once again, let's break everything down by sport, shall we?

Basketball: We all kind of knew that Grizzlies/Spurs was facing a bit of an uphill climb in terms of TV ratings due to smaller markets and (in the Grizzlies case) somewhat unknown commodities from a national television standpoint, and Game 1 proved that theory. The 3.9 rating for Game 1 was the lowest-rated NBA Conference Final Game 1 since 2007, when Cavs/Pistons (3.5) and Jazz/Spurs (3.8) were lower.

Knicks/Pacers was down 26 percent from last year's timeslot, though that featured a Game 7 between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. It still managed to be the highest-rated NBA game of the weekend.

Hockey: Because of the lockout, you have to look at NHL post-season ratings two different ways: vs. the comparable broadcast weekend last year and vs. the comparable playoff weekend last year. In the former, the NHL on NBC was up in big numbers, while the latter showed it even or down with last year's second round.

Red Wings/Blackhawks was a bit of a stinker in an early timeslot, and was down a tick from Rangers/Capitals in last year's Conference Semifinals (1.5), but up a tick from Game 3 of the Rangers/Devils Conference Final series, which aired on the comparable weekend last year (1.3).

Rangers/Bruins, despite the blowout, was even with last year's Devils/Flyers game on the comparable Conference Semifinal weekend, but nearly doubled the Coyotes/Kings Game 4 that aired on NBC a year ago last weekend (1.1). So... an up weekend for NBC, but a slightly down what for the NHL? Fair?

Baseball: MLB on Fox began their primetime series on this weekend last year, so not quite fair to compare the drop from a 2.4 last year to a 1.4 this year. Fox's MLB coverage continues to get beaten up quite a bit, however.

Horse Racing: The Preakness Stakes were up slightly (5.6 to 6.0) from 2012.

Golf: Both Byron Nelson Championship telecasts picked up a tick from last year's 1.2 for Round 3 and 1.8 for the Final Round.

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