Buoyed by unprecedented live programming hours, record viewership for the Sochi Winter Games, strong NHL viewership, and the Premier League’s three most-watched months on U.S. sports cable, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network) averaged 215,000 Total Day viewers in the first quarter of 2014 – marking the most-watched quarter in the network’s history, according to live plus same day data released by The Nielsen Company.
NBCSN’s first quarter (Dec. 30-March 30) Total Day viewership jumped 231% vs. last year’s first quarter (65,000) – ranking No. 1 among all cable networks in year-over-year increase and more than doubling the No. 2 cable network in growth (TeenNick, up 87%) for the quarter.
During the first quarter, NBCSN averaged 1.6 million viewers for the Sochi Games in the 6 a.m.-3 p.m. ET time period – a 134% increase over the network’s comparable daytime coverage of the 2012 London Games (692,000 viewers). The Sochi Games had a nine-hour time difference vs. the eastern time zone in the United States compared to five hours for London in 2012. The 10 best weekday daytime audiences in NBCSN’s history were provided by its 10 weekdays of Sochi coverage and the network’s five highest viewership totals for weekend daytimes also came during coverage of the Sochi Games.
NHL viewership was also up. NBCSN posted its best full-season first quarter NHL viewership ever with an average of 375,000 viewers – up 18% from the first quarter in 2012. NBCSN is on pace for its best-ever viewership for a full NHL season, averaging 358,000 viewers.
NBCSN also delivered the Premier League’s three most-watched months ever on U.S. sports cable, averaging a record 476,000 viewers in February, as well as 442,000 viewers in March, and 414,000 viewers in January.
NBC Sports Group looks ahead to a second quarter highlighted by the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and Final, Triple Crown horse racing, The Players Championship, the conclusion of the Premier League season, including Championship Sunday, French Open, Tour de France, and Formula One and IndyCar racing.