With the caveat that last year’s games did unusually well, TNT suffered major declines for Heat/Bulls and Spurs/Clippers Thursday night. In other news, ESPN had mixed numbers for college basketball last Saturday night, while CBS had major increases for a pair of games last weekend.
- Thursday’s Heat/Bulls NBA regular season game earned 2.4 million viewers on TNT, down 52% from Knicks/Heat on the comparable night last season (5.1M), but up 20% from Spurs/Bulls in 2011 (2.0M). Later in the night, Spurs/Clippers drew 2.0 million viewers, down 46% from Lakers/Thunder last year (3.7M), but up 50% from Mavericks/Suns in 2011 (1.3M). It should be pointed out that neither game was competitive. (Thu. numbers from The Futon Critic)
- Last Saturday’s Duke/Maryland men’s college basketball game earned a 1.5 U.S. rating and 2.5 million viewers on ESPN, up 88% in ratings and 134% in viewership from St. Mary’s/Murray State in a similar timeslot last year (0.8, 1.1M). The game was the most-viewed program on any ESPN network last week (Feb 11-17), even topping North Carolina/Duke the previous Wednesday (2.4M). Later in the night, Texas/Kansas drew a 0.7 and 1.2 million, down 46% and 42%, respectively, from Ohio State/Michigan last year (1.3, 2.0M). (Sat. numbers from Son of the Bronx)
- CBS earned a 1.4 final rating for the Ohio State/Wisconsin game last Sunday afternoon, up 27% from Michigan State/Purdue last year (1.1). On Saturday, regional action featuring either Pittsburgh/Marquette or Kentucky/Tennessee earned a 1.0, up 43% from regional coverage last year (0.7). (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)