SBD/March 21, 2013/Media

ESPN Has Record College Basketball Audience; Big Ten Leads Most-Viewed Games

ESPN finished up the men's college basketball regular season (excluding conference tournaments) with an average of 1.37 million viewers for 135 games, marking the net's best audience ever. That figure tops last season's record-setting viewership of 1.35 million viewers. The audience also is slightly higher than figures from the '10-11 and '09-10 seasons. Louisville was the top market for ESPN telecasts for the 11th straight year with a 4.5 local rating. The Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem market ranked second again with a 3.1 local rating. Meanwhile, CBS saw a slight decline for its men's coverage this season. Also seeing dips were ESPN2 and NBC Sports Network. ESPNU was up slightly for its coverage.

MEN'S NCAA BASKETBALL REGULAR-SEASON VIEWERSHIP
NET
VIEWERS (000)
'11-12 (000)
% +/-
CBS
1,800
1,900
-5.3%
ESPN
1,370
1,353
1.3%
ESPN2
424
449
-5.6%
ESPNU
142
140
1.4%
NBCSN
77
88
-12.5%

BIG TEN RISING: The two Michigan-Indiana matchups this season ranked as the most-viewed college basketball games on cable and broadcast TV, respectively. ESPN's telecast of the Feb. 2 game drew 4.0 million viewers, marking the most-viewed college basketball game of the season. Big Ten matchups drew the top two spots on ESPN, while taking four of the top five spots on CBS. The Duke-North Carolina telecasts on ESPN saw an audience decline this season. Both matchups ranked in the top five on ESPN last year, while only this year's second telecast cracked the top five. An oddity in the top five for CBS was the Temple-Kansas matchup from Jan. 6. That telecast had the benefit of a strong lead-in game -- the Ravens-Colts AFC Wild Card.

'12-13 MOST-VIEWED NCAA BASKETBALL GAMES ON ESPN
TELECAST
DATE
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
Michigan-Indiana
2/2
2.5
4,035
Indiana-Michigan State
2/19
2.3
3,733
Miami-Duke
3/2
2.2
3,416
Duke-Kentucky
11/13
2.0
3,028
Duke-North Carolina
3/9
1.7
2,787
'12-13 MOST-VIEWED NCAA BASKETBALL GAMES ON CBS
TELECAST
DATE
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
Indiana-Michigan
3/10
2.1
n/a
Temple-Kansas
1/6
2.0
n/a
Michigan State-Ohio State
2/24
1.9
n/a
Indiana-Ohio State
2/10
1.8
n/a
Michigan State-Michigan
3/3
1.8
n/a
       

NOTE: Figures not available for CBS Sports Network, Big Ten Network and Pac-12 Network.
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Media, CBS, ESPN, NBC, NCAA, Basketball

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