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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., April 25) -- NFL draft generates little heat

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Absent a Dallas Cowboys pick in Thursday night’s first round, DFW’s viewership of the NFL draft plummeted compared to last year.

But there’s another asterisk. The 2018 draft originated from Jerry’s Palace, which also served to inflate the local ratings.

This year’s draft drew the biggest audience on ABC, which televised it for the first time. A total of 126,527 viewers tuned in, compared to 91,381 for ESPN’s coverage and 35,147 for the NFL Net’s presentation. Hand calculator technology says that’s a combined crowd of 253,055.

Last year’s draft exceeded this year’s by more than 200,000 viewers. Fox4, which had live local coverage throughout, led with 256,396 viewers, followed by ESPN (142,442) and the NFL Net (56,977). That’s a grand total of 455,815 viewers.

One more thing, though. The 2017 draft, which did feature a Cowboys pick in the first round, had a combined 232,675 total viewers. So this year’s draft actually did a little better apples- to apples-wise.

Over on NBC Sports Net, the Dallas Stars’ 3-2 road loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoff series averaged 112,469 D-FW viewers. That’s a bit less than the audience for just ABC’s coverage of the NFL draft. Then again, NBC Sports Net can still be something of an archaeological dig for some.

Thursday’s top-rated prime-time program on a single network, CBS’ 7 p.m. episode of The Big Bang Theory, drew 253,055 viewers to equal the overall average audience for the draft on three networks. Big Bang also drew the highest single network crowd among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds with 66,422.

OK, here are the local news derby results for the first day of the four-week May “sweeps” ratings period.

WFAA8’s 10 p.m. local newscast got punched out by ABC’s late-running draft coverage, which may be the first time that’s ever happened on the first day of a ratings sweeps period. NBC5 and CBS11 tied for the lead in total viewers while Fox4 won outright among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 had twin wins at 6 a.m., as did WFAA8 at 6 p.m. and NBC5 at 5 p.m.

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