Weekend ratings breakdown: Tiger ties NASCAR at the top on Sunday

USA TODAY Sports

When things are going good for Tiger Woods, things are going good for the sport of golf on television. Tiger's final push at WGC-Cadillac helped cut into NASCAR's numbers.

Welcome to the first installment of the Weekend Ratings Breakdown here at Puck the Media. Every Monday, we'll analyze the ratings for all the weekend sports telecasts on the major networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC). You can find the original numbers at Sports Business Daily (subscription required).

Saturday, March 9

12 p.m. ET - NCAA Hoops: Florida vs. Kentucky (CBS): 1.2

12:30 p.m. ET - Skiing: U.S. Grand Prix (NBC): 0.5

1:30 p.m. ET - Golf Central (NBC): 0.5

2 p.m. ET - WGC: Cadillac Championship, Round 3 (NBC): 3.0

2:15 p.m. ET - NCAA Hoops: UCLA vs. Washington (CBS): 0.9

4 p.m. ET - ESPN Sports Saturday (ABC): 0.5

4:15 p.m. ET - NCAA Hoops: Notre Dame vs. Louisville (CBS): 1.2

Analysis: Tiger Woods being competitive is always huge business for the golf world. The 3.0 for the third round of the WGC-Cadillac tourney represents its highest overnight rating since 2005. The number was up 36 percent from the third round of the 2012 tournament (2.2), and 114 percent from 2011 (1.4).

Meanwhile, college basketball continues to draw mediocre numbers on CBS, even though we're headed into late-season action. And I know ESPN wants to keep ABC a somewhat active place for sports when it's not college football season, but has anyone honestly ever watched ESPN Sports Saturday?

Sunday, March 10

12 p.m. ET - NCAA Hoops: VCU vs. Temple (CBS): 0.9

12:30 p.m. ET - NHL: NY Rangers vs. Washington (NBC): 0.8

1 p.m. ET - NBA: Boston vs. Oklahoma City (ABC): 2.7

2:15 p.m. ET - NCAA Hoops: Missouri Valley Conference Championship (CBS): 1.0

3 p.m. ET - Golf: WGC Cadillac Championship, Final Round (NBC): 4.4

3:15 p.m. ET - NASCAR: Las Vegas (Fox): 4.4

3:45 p.m. ET - NBA: Chicago vs. LA Lakers (ABC): 3.5

4:30 p.m. ET - NCAA Hoops: Indiana vs. Michigan (CBS): 2.2

Analysis: As I noted earlier today, the NHL on NBC took a 50 percent tumble from last week's big ratings. Without the red hot Blackhawks, and featuring two middling teams playing at what felt like 11:30 a.m. ET, NBC saw it's lowest NHL ratings of the shortened season.

Hoops were mundane again for CBS, save for the intense Indiana-Michigan tilt, which drew some of CBS' best basketball numbers for the season.

The 3.5 rating for Bulls-Lakers was up 9 percent from Celtics-Lakers (3.2) on the comparable date last season. There should be an asterisk next to that number, however, as Celts-Lakers was up against Selection Sunday in college hoops. The 2.7 for Celtics-Thunder ties ABC's lowest NBA overnight of the season.

NASCAR and golf tied for Sunday's lead, but it was golf on the upswing and NASCAR on the downswing. The final round of the WGC's Tiger-boosted rating was up 44 percent from 2012 (3.1) and 84 percent from 2011 (2.4). NASCAR's Las Vegas event, however, was down 4 percent from 2012 (4.6) and drew the second-lowest number for the race since Fox started broadcasting it 2001. That said, it was still tied for the weekend's highest-rated sporting event.

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