The Washington Times - June 3, 2008, 05:50PM

I’ve been bombarded with a flurry of ratings releases today, which I will summarize here. The general upshot is that lots of people are watching sports. Which is encouraging for people like me who write about it and are in favor of remaining employed.

NBA: The playoffs are the most-watched ever on ESPN, with 3.1 million households tuning in. The previous high was 2.99 million 2006. The Eastern Conference finals between the Celtics and Pistons was the most-viewed finals ever on ESPN.


The 10 NBA Playoff broadcasts on ABC are averaging 4,191,000 households, a 29 percent increase over the 3,255,000 households last postseason. ABC reports a 3.7 rating, up over 2.4 last year.

NASCAR: For the first time since 2005, ratings for NASCAR on Fox are up. The network is averaging a 5.7 rating, up from 5.6 million, representing a 100,000 household increase.Ratings among men 35-54 are up 5 percent, from 6.2 to 6.5, over last season, while ratings in the male 25-54 category rose from 5.3 to 5.4.

NHL: Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals game between the Red Wings and Penguins scored an overnight rating of 4.3, the best overnight rating for a game 5 since 2002. It was a 79 percent increase over the 2.4 rating for Game 5 of Anahiem-Ottawa last year.) Meanwhile, Saturday night’s Game 4 won the coveted 18-49 demographic, marking the first time in 7 years that the NHL capture the night in that demo.

NBC also reported that Washington finished 9th among U.S. markets in total ratings for Monday’s Game 5. The region drew a 4.7 rating. The Top Ten, according to NBC:

   Pittsburgh, 35.4/52
   Detroit, 29.6/46
   Buffalo, 10.2/17
   Denver, 7.2/12
   Minneapolis, 7.1/13
   St. Louis, 6.2/10
   T7. Philadelphia, 4.9/9
   T7. Nashville, 4.9/8
   Washington, D.C., 4.7/9
   Las Vegas, 4.4/7

- Tim Lemke