Last week’s thriller between Michigan and Wisconsin gave ESPN a big boost in the ratings. In other news, CBS earned mixed numbers for college hoops action last weekend, and the season’s first meeting between Duke and North Carolina suffered a decline on ESPN.
- Last Saturday’s Michigan/Wisconsin men’s college basketball game earned a 1.4 U.S. rating and 2.0 million viewers on ESPN, up 40% in ratings and 39% in viewership from Louisville/West Virginia in the same timeslot last year (1.0, 1.4M), and up 27% and 21%, respectively, from Syracuse/Louisville in 2011 (1.1, 1.6M). The game, won by Wisconsin in overtime, topped the five overtime Louisville/Notre Dame clash as ESPN’s highest rated college basketball game of the weekend. (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)
- CBS scored a 1.8 final rating for Sunday’s Indiana/Ohio State game, up 13% from Illinois/Michigan last year (1.6), up 157% from Purdue/Illinois in 2011 (0.7), and last week’s top college basketball rating on any network. On Saturday, Mississippi/Missouri earned a mere 0.8 final rating — down a third from Connecticut/Syracuse last year (1.2), and down 20% from Kentucky/Vanderbilt in 2011 (1.0). (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)
- Moving to this week’s numbers, Wednesday’s North Carolina/Duke game earned a 1.6 U.S. rating 2.4 million viewers on ESPN — down 27% in ratings and 25% in viewership from the teams’ first matchup last year, which aired one week earlier in the season (2.2, 3.1M). Both teams were in the top ten last season. Compared to their first meeting in 2011 (1.5, 2.4M), this year’s game was up a tick in ratings and down 1% in viewership. (Wed. numbers from ESPN)