Ratings are out for Saturday’s International Swimming League debut on network television in the United States, and according to Show Buzz Daily, it drew 381,000 viewers over the age of 2, and 102,000 viewers in the crucial 18-49 demographic. That’s based on numbers who watched it live and via a DVR device on the same day.
The overall rating assigned was a .25. That means about .25% (or .0025 as a decimal) of the approximately 120 million US households tuned in.
That match was the 2nd day of racing between Cali Condors, defending champions Energy Standard, LA Current, and the New York Breakers, meaning the teams represented 4 of the largest 8 television markets in the US.
Show Buzz Daily lists only those events that draw over 200,000 viewers, and among that demographic, the show was the lowest-viewed network television event of the week.
While it did better in total viewers than a few cable events, like a high school football game on ESPN2, it struggled among events on the most popular over-the-air networks in the country, which are the big names of CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox.
It did slightly worse than the Women’s National Soccer League game between North Carolina and Orlando that followed it on CBS on Saturday afternoon, which drew fewer total viewers (366,000) but more in the 18-49 demographic that determines most ad rates on entertainment television (139,000).
The top-rated sporting events last week were all NFL football games, with the Sunday afternoon games on Fox, which varied around the country, drawing 22.3 million total viewers and 7.8 million in the 18-49 demographic.
The top-rated non-football event was the Major League Baseball NLCS Game 7 between Atlanta and the LA Dodgers.
Other events that outdrew the swimming league include the Professional Bowling Association playoff match aired on Fox on Saturday evening, which pulled 591,000 total viewers and 143,000 in the 18-49 demographic, Premier League Soccer in NBC Sports Network, and 3 motor sports events.
The ISL CBS broadcast outdrew 5 out of 6 professional golf broadcasts on the Golf Channel last week.
On the other hand, Friday’s ISL match that was broadcast on CBS Sports Network did not crack the 200,000 spectator barrier to make the Show Buzz list. They also didn’t crack the top 150 original cable rated shows on Friday, Sunday, or Monday, which included one event with 54,000 viewers (all ages).
By comparison, multiple nights of the 2016 US Olympic Swimming Trials on NBC drew north of 5 million viewers.
No further matches on the main CBS network have been announced for this season. Of the 22 remaining match days, 9 will be streamed via the CBS All-Access platform, while 13 will be aired on the cable network CBS Sports Network.