Pro Swim Series Highlight Package Draws 537,000 Viewers on NBC

A highlight package of the 2022 USA Swimming Pro Swim Series on NBC last Sunday drew 537,000 viewers, according to ratings service Nielsen. That made it the week’s 34th-most watched live sports program in the US that week.

It was a crowded sports weekend, with final fours in both men’s and women’s college basketball, big NBA matchups, and the Texas Valero Open in golf also airing. The swimming highlights package on NBC led into the final day at the Valero Open, which drew about 2.3 million viewers.

NBC Universal usually airs English Premier League soccer in that Sunday timeslot across its networks. In the same slot on the cable channel USA Network, the premier league drew an estimated 608,000 viewers. That’s even with a smaller audience base – USA Network reaches about 91 million US households, while almost all of the 122 million US households with TV access get NBC. Bowling in the same time slot on Fox drew 847,000 viewers – for the USBC Masters, a showcase event that is made for high ratings.

Still, the numbers are being heralded as a positive in the Olympic space.

Other Interesting draws:

  • The prior weekend’s college wrestling championships Saturday night broadcast on March 18 drew 632,000 viewers. That event overlapped with the final day of the women’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, which were only streamed on ESPN+ live. A highlight package was aired on ESPN later.
  • The Women’s NCAA basketball tournament drew a 10% increase in viewers over last year. The tournament has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny over equitable treatment between male and female athletes. In 2021, women’s players called out this inequity, and the 2022 tournament saw changes in both facilities and marketing (the women’s tournament used the ‘March Madness’ brand for the first time). The final between South Carolina and UConn, the sport’s two highest-profile programs right now, had a lot more national appeal than the Arizona-Stanford final of 2021, but the ratings still show a positive trend in interest in women’s collegiate athletics that was also reflected in SwimSwam’s traffic.
  • The championship game of the men’s college basketball NIT between Xavier and Texas A&M drew 961,000 viewers on a Saturday night. The NIT is the second-tier college basketball championship tournaments that features the best teams that didn’t make the 68 team NCAA Championship field.

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Unknown Swammer
5 months ago

In reality – following coverage here has generally replaced my viewership of these types of meets. I’ll follow results here, often in real time, and then if there’s some particularly fast swimming I’ll find the race videos or tv broadcasts. But more often than not, for the mid-season meets, this isn’t the case.

Mikeh
5 months ago

This is not so bad. It’s on tv and that’s a victory.

Comet
5 months ago

TV Ratings are at record lows across the board (sports, entertainment, news etc)

SCCOACH
5 months ago

My guide said “open water national championships” and it was the San Antonio meet. I wonder if casuals thought they were looking at some nationals competition and got tricked.

TV is king
5 months ago

I agree. I know SwimSwam does a great job on covering big meets and often if you click on the meet page it will tell you how to watch, but it would be awesome to get a standalone weekly summary of where to watch swimming on TV. I know I also sometimes stumble upon coverage on things like the SEC network, but it is always on accident.

Trip Strauss
5 months ago

Braden – I used to be able to use my Comcast voice remote and say the word swimming and it would advise me of upcoming swim competitions on tv regardless of channel but that doesn’t work anymore.
do you know how to best know in advance when you can watch swimming on NBC NBC sports or the olympic channel?

thanks
Trip Strauss

SCCOACH
Reply to  Trip Strauss
5 months ago

Swimswam always has a link with the tv broadcast details when there is a big meet, next is world champs trials April 26-30, swimswam will post the schedule if it’s on tv. Check back in a couple weeks and all the information should be here,

Trip Strauss
Reply to  SCCOACH
5 months ago

thanks

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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