LSU's ride to a sixth NCAA men's College World Series championship was a Nielsen record-setter for ESPN.
The total sports network's coverage of the three championship contents, in which the Tigers topped the Texas Longhorns two games to one, averaged a 2.1 rating, 2.06 million households and 2.76 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Those numbers made it the highest-rated and most-viewed finals since the best-of-three format was adopted in 2003. This season's games marked increases of 24% in rating (versus a 1.7), 24% in households (1.67) and 26% in viewers (2.19 million)
The championship series delivered three of ESPN's top four most-viewed college World Series telecasts ever, highlighted by the most-viewed and second highest-rated for the decisive third game on June 24, which averaged 2.3 million households; 3.16 million viewers; and a 2.3 rating.
The second game on June 23 ranked as the third most-viewed with 1.96 million households, 2.62 million viewers and a 2.0 rating, while the June 22 opener averaged 1.9 million households, 2.5 million viewers and a 1.9 rating, the fourth most-viewed in ESPN history.
All told, ESPN averaged 1.45 million households, 1.93 million viewers and a 1.5 rating, up 33% (versus 1.09 million), 37% (1.41 million) and 36% (1.1), respectively, over 2008.levels.
ESPN2 averaged 821,000 households and 1.04 million viewers, increases of 6% in both measures (771,000) and (988,000) over last year's numbers. The network matched last year's 0.8 average.
ESPN2 delivered two of its top five most-viewed and highest-rated contests --- the game 12 telecast on June 19 was fourth with 1.06 million households, 1.39 million viewers; and a 1.1 rating, while the ninth game on June 17 was fifth with averaged 1.05 million households, just under 1.3 million viewers and a 1.1 rating.