Updated: CBS’ NFL Coverage Serves Up Outsider Crowd

Nearly one-quarter of the total 18+ audience for CBS’ presentation of the NFL AFC Divisional Playoffs watched the games outside their homes, per Arbitron’s ARB-TV service.

On Jan. 16, 20.3 percent of viewers 18 and older who tuned in for CBS’ coverage of the Ravens-Colts duel took in the broadcast from a bar, restaurant, hotel or other non-residential venue, according to new figures released by Arbitron. The following day, away-from-home viewing accounted for 27.2 percent of CBS’ Jets-Chargers deliveries.

Taken together, away-from-home viewers 18+ made up 23.8 percent of CBS’ two-game average.

As one might well imagine, CBS’ male demos were particularly enhanced by away-from-home viewing. Arbitron notes that non-residential venues resulted in a 27 percent lift among men 18+ for the Ravens-Colts game (Jan. 16) and a 28 percent boost for Jets-Chargers (Jan. 17).

The younger the male viewer, the greater the likelihood he watched CBS’ NFL coverage in a local watering hole. Away-from-Home viewing accounted for 42 percent of CBS’ overall M18-34 audience for Ravens-Colts, and 39 percent for Jets-Chargers.

Arbitron measures away-from-home TV viewing by leveraging its Portable People Meter radio ratings service, which collects data from 52,000 panelists across 29 radio metros. Since the service is based on the radio metro and not the traditional TV DMA (a larger geography), the ARB-TV service is used by networks as complement to traditional ratings to demonstrate the audience lift from away-from-home viewing for certain marquee sporting events.

During CBS’ broadcast of Saturday’s playoff, the three markets that contributed the greatest percentages of away-from-home 18+ viewers were: San Francisco (30.3 percent), San Diego (26.8 percent) and Baltimore (25.7 percent). The following afternoon, viewers in both representative DMAs accounted for two of the top three results. San Diego boasted the greatest percentage of barstool viewers (28.1 percent), followed by Dallas (25.6 percent) and New York (25 percent).

CBS is the second network to sign on for Arbitron’s ARB-TV service, following Turner Broadcasting’s TBS. In October, Jon Diament, Turner Sports executive vp, ad sales and marketing, told Mediaweek that TBS’ coverage of Game One of the 2009 Major League Baseball Division Series enjoyed a significant lift from out-of-home viewing, as the network’s delivery of adults 25-54 improved 27 percent upon application of Arbitron’s PPM data.

On the first day of postseason baseball (Oct. 7), TBS averaged 2.22 million adults 25-54, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data. Arbitron’s measurement of OOH viewing in the top 10 markets added another 600,000 members of the demo, bringing the three-game average to 2.82 million.

Turner signed on as an Arbitron client in September 2009. Along with TBS’ presentation of the MLB playoffs, Turner also has tapped Arbitron to measure OOH viewing for TNT’s NBA coverage.