ESPN Final Table Numbers Slightly Down

But still spinnable as slightly up

by , Nov 12, 2009 | 12:13 pm

So I really nailed it when predicting the outcomes of the tournament itself … picked Joe Cada as the winner and declared Darvin Moon to be finishing in either 2nd or 4th.

However, I also said: “Seriously, I’m predicting ratings boom.”

Oops …

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2009

World Series of Poker Finale Draws 2.1 Million Viewers on ESPN

With 21-year-old Joe Cada of Michigan setting a record as the youngest champion ever, more than 2.1 million viewers watched ESPN’s same-day coverage of the World Series of Poker, presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, from Las Vegas on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The telecast earned a 1.8 household coverage rating in an average of 1,806,113 households, a slight decrease from the 1.9 rating earned for the 2008 finale.

ESPN’s 15-week schedule of World Series of Poker coverage in 2009 included 31 telecasts averaging a 1.0 rating, even with last year. However, averages for households (1,024,901) and viewership (1,228,008) increased nine and seven percent, respectively, from 2008, and the important Male 25-54 demographic saw a 13 percent jump from 2008.

It only took one year for the record for youngest winner to be broken. Denmark’s Peter Eastgate was 22 when he captured the 2008 crown.


Click below for a more detailed breakdown and recent-history comparison of the ratings, courtesy of a ganked Poker Beat email from BJ.

Speaking of … don’t forget to tune in today to The Poker Beat, as we will be getting all-WSOPy like all get-out!

Most of us probably got the email from ESPN that 2.1 million viewers watched the WSOP final table Tuesday night. I’ve compared it with the same email from a year ago (both press releases are attached below) to get solid year-over-year numbers from an identical source.

As Oliver Tse would eagerly point out, total numbers don’t tell the entire story — it’s about key demographics. This year’s press release touts the fact that 25-54 year-old male viewers increased by 13% (season average) compared to last year. It wasn’t mentioned in last year’s press release, but I have found data that says the 2008 numbers were up 2% compared to 2007 for men ages 18-34, and up 16% among men ages 25-54.

So while overall ratings are down slightly, we have increased some of our key demographics for three straight years, which should keep ESPN happy.

— BJ

2009 – Joe Cada’s Victory
Rating: 1.8
Households: 1,806,113
Average Viewers: 2,100,000

2008 – Peter Eastgate’s Victory
Rating: 1.9
Households: 1,905,000
Average Viewers: 2,364,000

2007 – Jerry Yang’s Victory (No November 9 Format)
Rating: 1.4
Households: 1,329,000
Average Viewers: 1,635,000

– – – – – – – – – –

The season averages listed below are for ESPN’s WSOP broadcasts leading up to the final table.

2009 – Season Average
Rating: 1.0
Households: 1,024,901
Average Viewers: 1,228,008

2008 – Season Average
Rating: 0.9
Households: 919,000
Average Viewers: 1,126,000

2007 – Season Average
Rating: ? (presumably 0.8)
Households: 815,000
Average Viewers: 981,000

2 Comments to “ESPN Final Table Numbers Slightly Down ”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    The 2009 ratings started out down about 10% from last year when the three preliminary events aired (but ratings improved in key demos). When the Main Event started, ratings more than made up for the earlier losses.

  2. BJ Nemeth

    Excellent point, Kevin. Which is why we see the Main Event coverage increasing each year at the expense of the prelims.