The Yankees, the Red Sox and UConn women’s basketball dominated TV sports Sunday night, with NESN reporting its highest-rated season opener in the cable channel’s history (in the Boston market) and YES Network reporting its second-highest-rated regular season sporting event for its coverage of the MLB opener.
The 3-hour, 46-minute baseball game between bitter rivals was also shown on ESPN2, which recorded a modest 2.4 overnight rating nationally, although the game was blacked out in some local areas, said an ESPN spokesman.
NESN, the Red Sox sports network, saw the game do a fat 19.7 household rating (475,000 households) in the Boston area.
The Yankees’ YES Network also did a strong overnight rating (a 10) for the Yankees-Red Sox, and referred to the game as “the second-highest-rated and second-most-watched regular season live sporting event ever on a New York regional sports network.” The highest for YES was the last Yanks-Sox opener in April 2005.
The UConn women, meanwhile, scored a 2.6 overnight national Nielsen rating on ESPN as they advanced to the title game tonight, said the spokesman. In the Hartford-New Haven market, the UConn game scored a hefty 17.3 rating, the highest NCAA women’s tourney game since last year’s UConn-Stanford semifinal, which did a 20. The rematch of that game is tonight at 8:30 on ESPN.