Weekend Ratings Breakdown: Hockey beats baseball, basketball beats everyone

USA TODAY Sports

The NHL, NASCAR and the NBA had a good weekend.

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 25

1 p.m. ET - Track & Field: Adidas Grand Prix (NBC): 0.8
2 p.m. ET -
UEFA Champions League Pre-Game (Fox): 0.6
2 p.m. ET -
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing (CBS): 0.4
2:45 p.m. ET -
UEFA Champions League Final: Bayern Munich vs. Dortmund (Fox): 1.0
2:45 p.m. ET -
NASCAR Nationwide Series: History 300 (ABC): 1.4
3 p.m. ET -
PGA Tour: Crown Plaza Invitational, Third Round (CBS): 1.1
7 p.m. ET -
MLB: Regional Action (St. Louis vs. L.A. Dodgers, Atlanta vs. NY Mets, Philadelphia vs. Washington, Miami vs. CHI White Sox, Oakland vs. Houston) (Fox): 1.7
8 p.m. ET -
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Detroit vs. Chicago, Game 5 (NBC): 2.0

Analysis: A reminder, before we go through all of this, that on both nights, cable broadcasts of NBA conference finals drew more viewers than anything on the broadcast networks. This night, San Antonio-Memphis Game 3 was on ESPN and drew more viewers than the highest-rated program of the day, which was ... the NHL?

While a 2.0 isn't necessarily anything amazing, it's terrific for the league's first prime-time showcase. The Red Wings-Blackhawks game won the night on broadcast among adults 18-49, and provided NBC's with its highest-rated Saturday in the demo since NFL Wild Card Saturday.

MLB was down 26 percent from last year's broadcast, which is bad news for the league's first prime-time showcase of the summer. It sort of speaks to a larger problem, that the league doesn't have any real national draws outside the Yankees. Their game against the Red Sox will air in more than half of the country this Saturday night, and likely come close to doubling this week's number.

The Champions League Final, which featured two German teams, was down 23 percent from last year, in which the same Bayern Munich squad took on Chelsea.

Sunday, May 26

8 a.m. ET - Formula 1: Grand Prix of Monaco (NBC): 1.3
11 a.m. ET -
Indy 500 Pre-Race (ABC): 2.0
12 p.m. ET -
Indianapolis 500 (ABC): 3.8
12 p.m. ET -
French Open: First Round (NBC): 0.9
3 p.m. ET -
PGA Tour: Crown Plaza Invitational, Final Round (CBC): 1.7
3 p.m. ET -
Senior PGA Championship, Final Round (NBC): 0.6
5:30 p.m. ET -
NASCAR Pre-Race (Fox): 2.6
6:30 p.m. ET -
NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600 (Fox): 4.1

Analysis: For the first time ever, the Coca-Cola 600 beat the Indy 500 in the overnights. The Indianapolis 500 drew its least-viewed race since it began airing live in 1986. It was even beaten in Indy, where the 9.3 local rating was well outpaced by the Pacers, who drew a 16.1 for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Heat. The Miami-Indiana game drew 7.3 million viewers, outpacing the 7.1 million for the Coca-Cola 600 (which was down four percent in viewers).

NBC's morning broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix proved a bit of a success. NBC drew 1.5 million viewers for the telecast, dubbed "Mimosas at Monaco" by some. That made it the most-watched F1 race on American television since 2007. The race was up 241 percent in viewers vs. the SPEED Network broadcast of last year's race.

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