Michigan/Indiana Gives ESPN Top College Hoops Rating of Season


ESPN hit a season-high for college basketball action Saturday night.

Saturday’s Michigan/Indiana men’s college basketball game drew a 2.5 U.S. rating and 4.0 million viewers on ESPN, up 67% in ratings and 66% in viewership from Kansas/Missouri last year (1.5, 2.4M), and up 79% and 92%, respectively, from Kentucky/Florida in 2011 (1.4, 2.1M).

Michigan/Indiana ranks as the highest rated college basketball game of the season on any network. The previous high was a 2.0 for the November 13 Duke/Kentucky game on ESPN and the January 6 Temple/Kansas matchup on CBS.

In addition, the game earned the largest audience for any basketball telecast on ESPN or ESPN2 — pro or college — since Game 7 of the Celtics/Heat NBA Eastern Conference Finals last June (13.3M), and the largest regular season audience since North Carolina/Duke last March (4.2M).

For the week, the game ranked eighth in ratings and viewership among cable television programs.

(Saturday’s numbers from Bloomberg, Media Life Magazine)