Weekend Ratings Breakdown: Derby, Playoffs run the show

Jamie Squire

Pacers/Knicks, Sprint Cup action and the Kentucky Derby highlight a busy 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 4

12:30 p.m. ET - Stanley Cup Playoffs: NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 2 (NBC): 1.2
2 p.m. ET - PGA Tour 2012: Seven Days (CBS): 0.5
3 p.m. ET - PGA Tour: Wells Fargo Championship, Third Round (CBS): 1.8
4 p.m. ET - ESPN Sports Saturday (ABC): 0.5
4 p.m. ET - MLB: Washington vs. Pittsburgh, Baltimore vs. LA Angels, St. Louis vs. Milwaukee (Fox): 1.4
4 p.m. ET - Kentucky Derby Pre-Race (NBC): 3.1
4:30 p.m. ET - Kentucky Derby Pre-Race (NBC): 4.1
5 p.m. ET - Kentucky Derby Pre-Race (NBC): 6.2
6 p.m. ET - Kentucky Derby (NBC): 10.4

Analysis: NBC's coverage of the Kentucky Derby tied with the 2010 race as the highest rated Derby since 1992. Overall, the 2013 edition was up 16 percent from 2012 (9.0/20), and pre-race coverage was up 15 percent from last year. In Louisville, the race drew a Super Bowl-esque 43.7/69 rating. Ft. Myers, Cincinnati, Knoxville, West Palm Beach, Buffalo, Oklahoma City, Columbus, Indianapolis and Nashville led all local markets.

There wasn't much else going on. Rangers-Capitals was down 20 percent from Washington-Boston in the first round last year, though remember that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are starting two weeks later than they did last year. The overtime game was up nine percent from 2011's comparable Coyotes/Red Wings game. New York and Washington have never drawn quite as well on television as they should, at least on paper.

Meanwhile, Fox's MLB coverage drew a mediocre 1.4, even with last year when the lead game was White Sox vs. Tigers.

Sunday, May 5

12 p.m. ET - Stanley Cup Playoffs: Pittsburgh vs. NY Islanders, Game 3 (NBC): 1.4
1 p.m. ET
- NBA Playoffs: Memphis vs. Oklahoma City, Game 1 (ABC): 3.8
1 p.m. ET
- AMA Supercross (CBS): 0.4
1:15 p.m. ET
- NASCAR Sprint Cup: Talladega (Fox): 4.4
2 p.m. ET
- Beyond Green (CBS): 0.5
3 p.m. ET
- Stanley Cup Playoffs: Chicago vs. Minnesota, Game 3 (NBC): 1.5
3 p.m. ET
- PGA Tour: Wells Fargo Championship, Final Round (CBS): 2.2
4 p.m. ET
- NBA Playoffs: Indiana vs. New York, Game 1 (ABC): 4.9

Analysis: The Sprint Cup race was delayed for a couple hours, and that may have caused ratings to go down a bit from 2012 (4.7). The Wells Fargo Championship final round was also down slightly from 2012 (2.4).

Now let's talk NHL and NBA. The hockey doubleheader was down, largely because Chicago/Minnesota couldn't compete with a wacky, buzzed-about Penguins/Flyers game from last year, dropping 35 percent (2.3). The game was both up 15 percent from the comparable game in 2011 (1.3 for Capitals-Rangers) and up 40 percent from the comparable weekend last year (1.0 for Blues/Kings). The game scored an 8.4 in Chicago and a 7.6 in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The early game, Penguins-Isles, was down seven percent from Predators-Red Wings (1.5). The game drew a 2.3 rating in New York, actually beating out the rating in the market for Rangers-Capitals on Saturday. The game drew an 18.9 rating in New York. The overtime peaked at a 23 rating. 7.2% of Pittsburgh stuck around to watch Blackhawks/Wild.

The NBA had big numbers, but a bit of slippage. The Thunder/Grizzlies game was even with last year's broadcast, a Game 7 between the Grizzlies and Clippers. The game drew a 15.5 in Memphis and a 22.7 in Oklahoma City. The rating for Pacers/Knicks was down six percent from last year's Pacers/Heat (5.2). The game scored a 14.3 in Indianapolis and a 9.1 in New York. The New York rating was the highest for a non-NBA Finals game ever on ABC in the biggest market in the country.

Cable Notes

*ESPN had four NBA Game 6's on Friday night. Knicks/Celtics scored a 2.9, Thunder/Rockers a 3.2, Pacers/Hawks an 0.5 and Clippers/Grizzlies a 1.3.

*Sunday Night Baseball drew a 1.6 overnight for Dodgers/Giants, up 23 percent from Phillies/Nationals in 2012. The game drew a 9.1 in the Bay Area, the second-highest rated ESPN regular season MLB telecast ever in the market.

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