SBD/March 14, 2012/Media

NCAA Men's Basketball Regular-Season Ratings Flat On CBS, ESPN

ESPN averaged a 0.9 U.S. rating and 1.4 million viewers for its ’11-12 regular season (non-conference tournament) men’s college basketball games, flat compared to the net’s figures from ’10-11 and ‘09-10. Louisville topped all markets for the season with a 4.5 local rating, followed by Greensboro (3.5) and K.C. (2.8). ESPN2 averaged a 0.3 rating and 449,000 viewers for its games, flat in rating compared to last season, but viewers were up 7%. CBS finished with a 1.3 rating and 1.9 million viewers for its 30 games this season. That rating figure is flat compared to last season, but up from ’09-10, while viewership was down compared to 2.0 million viewers last season. NBC Sports Network aired seven Mountain West Conference games this season for the first time. The slate of Saturday 4:00pm ET games averaged 88,000 viewers.

NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL REGULAR-SEASON RATINGS, VIEWERSHIP
NET
GMS
RAT.
% +/-
VIEWERS (000)
% +/-
'10-11 GMS
CBS
30
1.3
0.0%
1,900
-5.0%
30
ESPN
130
0.9
0.0%
1,400
0.0%
151
ESPN2
184
0.3
0.0%
449
6.7%
202
NBC Sports Network
7
0.1
n/a
88
n/a
n/a
 

TOP GAMES: The March 3 North Carolina-Duke matchup on ESPN marked the most-viewed game of the regular season with 4.2 million viewers and also marked the net’s most-viewed college basketball game in four years. The Carrier Classic from Nov. 11, which featured North Carolina-Michigan State, ranked second with 3.9 million viewers. The top five most-viewed games on ESPN this season also topped any college game which aired on CBS’ slate. The North Carolina-Kentucky matchup from Dec. 3 led all of CBS’ games with 3.1 million viewers, followed by the Ohio State-Michigan matchup on March 4. Listed below are the top five most-viewed games on ESPN and CBS from the '11-12 regular season.

TELECAST
DATE
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
North Carolina-Duke
3/3
6:54-9:07pm
2.7
4,247
Carrier Classic:
North Carolina-Michigan State
11/11
7:00-9:47pm
2.4
3,859
Kentucky-Indiana
12/10
5:24-7:34pm
2.3
3,585
Duke-Ohio State
11/29
9:37-11:35pm
2.3
3,422
Duke-North Carolina
2/8
9:14-11:18pm
2.2
3,121
TELECAST
DATE
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
North Carolina-Kentucky
12/3
12:00-2:06pm
2.0
3,070
Ohio State-Michigan State
3/4
4:31-6:36pm
2.0
3,065
Missouri-Kansas
2/25
4:19-6:35pm
1.9
2,939
Wisconsin-Ohio State
2/26
4:19-6:09pm
1.8
2,895
Indiana-Ohio State
1/15
4:35-6:34pm
1.9
2,881
 

FIRST FOUR: truTV averaged a 0.9 overnight Nielsen rating for two First Four games last night as part of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, down from a 1.0 overnight last year. Both the Western Kentucky-Mississippi Valley State and BYU-Iona matchups last night earned a 0.9 rating (6:30pm-12:00am). Last year’s first telecasts featured UNC-Asheville's defeat of Arkansas-Little Rock and Clemson-UAB.

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