ESPN Scores Most-Watched Men's College Basketball SeasonNet Averages 1.45M viewers; First Syracuse-Duke Matchup Scores Third-Best Audience Ever 3/14/2014 4:41 PM Eastern
For the third straight year, ESPN's coverage of men's college basketball set viewership records. The network's 2013-14 slate averaged 1.45 million viewers, up 6% over last season.
Individually, the most-watched game was the Feb. 1 overtime tilt between Syracuse and Duke -- the two storied programs' first as Atlantic Coast Conference opponents -- which drew 4.75 million viewers. It was also the third-most watched ESPN college basketball game on record.
For the 12th straight year, Louisville was the highest-rated metered market for ESPN's regular-season telecasts, averaging a 4.5 rating. Greensboro (N.C.), Kansas City and Raleigh-Durham (N.C.) tied for second place with a 2.8 rating.
ESPN's TV networks -- which include ESPN2 and ESPNU -- combined to telecast 586 games, which averaged 501,000 viewers, down from the 508,000 for last year; ESPN's networks aired 602 games in 2012-13.