With North Carolina struggling, the Tobacco Road rivalry was not a particularly big draw on Saturday night.
Duke’s win over North Carolina drew a 1.6 U.S. rating and 2.5 million viewers on ESPN Saturday night, up 33% in ratings and 40% in viewership from Louisville/West Virginia on the comparable night last year (1.2, 1.8 mil), but down 45% and 46%, respectively, from the second meeting between Duke and North Carolina last year (2.9, 4.6 mil, CBS).
Compared to the second meeting between North Carolina and Duke in 2008, which also aired on ESPN on a Saturday night, the game was down 53% and 56%, respectively, from a 3.4 and 5.6 million viewers.
Ratings also dropped for the rivals’ first meeting of the season back in February (1.4, 2.2 mil).
This is the first time since at least 2002 that neither regular season meeting between Duke and North Carolina has drawn a 2.0 rating.