Comparatively speaking, it might not have been as many runs as the champion Fresno State Bulldogs put on the board, but ESPN and ESPN2 both scored well with their coverage of the College World Series.
ESPN rang up a 1.1 rating average, 1.09 million households and 1.41 million viewers for its nine telecasts, marking gains of 22%,.27% and 26% over its five-telecast average during the 2007 tournament, according to Nielsen Media Research data. From a viewership perspective, this year’s action from Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium was the network’s best ever, while the ratings average tied its performance in 2004 and 2006.
The June 25 title game, in which Fresno State topped the Georgia Bulldogs 6-1 in the decisive third contest, garnered a 2.0 rating and 1.9 million households, second only to the 2.2 for Oregon State’s triumph over North Carolina on June 26, 2006, when the Beavers won the crown in the third game.
With the 2008 CWS, ESPN2 averaged a 0.8 rating, 771,000 households and 988,000 total viewers for seven telecasts. The network matched the ratings average for 10 games last year, while increasing the other totals by 3% apiece, according to officials.
Fresno State, which dropped the opener to Georgia 7-6, before rallying to win the second game, 19-10, scored 31 runs over the three-contest set, to become the lowest seed ever to win the CWS.