TV Ratings: Big Increase For Indiana/Butler (Also: NBA on ESPN, College Football)

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Butler’s upset win over Indiana had a big increase in overnight ratings on CBS. In other news, ESPN had big declines for Friday’s NBA doubleheader, and Birmingham, AL, led all markets for college football on ESPN.

  • Indiana/Butler Overnight Up 50%: CBS drew a 1.5 overnight rating for the Indiana/Butler college basketball game Saturday afternoon, up 50% from both Butler/Purdue last year (1.0) and regional action in 2010 (1.0). The 1.5 is easily the top college basketball overnight of the season on CBS, topping a 0.9 for Arkansas/Michigan last week and a 1.1 for Baylor/Kentucky two weeks ago. (Sports Business Daily)
  • Steep Decline For NBA Friday Doubleheader: Friday’s Celtics/Rockets NBA regular season game drew 1.4 million viewers on ESPN, down 43% from Lakers/Bulls in 2010 (2.5M), and down 23% from Trail Blazers/Cavaliers in 2009 (1.8M). Later in the night, Grizzlies/Nuggets drew 1.3 million, down 53% from Heat/Warriors in 2010 (2.8M), and down 29% from Magic/Suns in 2009 (1.8M). Last year’s Hawks/Sixers and Spurs/Thunder doubleheader was canceled due to the NBA owners’ lockout. (Fri. numbers from The Futon Critic)
  • Birmingham Leads ESPN College Football Markets: Regular season college football telecasts on the ESPN family of networks averaged an 8.9 rating in the Birmingham (AL) market, up 51% from last year (5.9), and the easily the highest local average. Greenville, SC (4.7), Knoxville, TN (4.6), New Orleans (3.7) and Jacksonville (3.6) rounded out the top five. (Local numbers from ESPN Media Zone)
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