Viewership Slog

    • NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final, Kentucky Derby and the U.S. Open all hit viewership lows in a crowded landscape.
    • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.

Today's Action

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As COVID-19 pushed spring and summer events to late summer and fall, there was excitement around the idea of the jam-packed sports schedule. That slate seems to have posed a dilemma to many viewers in picking what to watch.

Events that were moved from May and June garnered historic viewership lows in their adjusted August and September dates. Even the NFL struggled its first two weeks — down 8% and 5% in viewership year-over-year, respectively — before bouncing back to even with 2019 in Week 3.

While viewership has struggled, sports betting has hit a hot streak, with New Jersey and Pennsylvania hitting all-time highs in August. Advertisers, too, are likely happy sports are back — the NFL has the top 15 TV programs since the season started.

New Viewership Lows

NBA Finals Game 1: -45%, all time low

Stanley Cup Final: -61%, 13-year low

U.S. Open final round: -56%, all-time low

Kentucky Derby: -43%, all-time low

Indy 500: -32%, all-time low