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Duke at North Carolina: Highest College Basketball Overnight of the Season on Any Network; ESPN’s First College Hoops Streaming Audience to Surpass 14 Million Minutes Watched

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  • Overnight is up Year-over-Year; Streaming Audience Grows in All Major Metrics
  • Duke-UNC in 2017:
    • ESPN’s Two Most-Streamed College Basketball Games Ever
    • Overnights: Highest Overall, Weekday and Weekend Games on Any Network
  • Washington State at UCLA: Best Overnight and ESPN’s Highest Streaming Audience for a Late-Night, Weekend Pac-12 Overnight this Season

Duke at North Carolina (8:15 p.m. ET on March 4, 2017) delivered a 2.6 overnight on ESPN, the best overnight for a college basketball game this season on any network. The network’s stream averaged 103,000 viewers with a total of 314,000 viewers watching 14,101,000 minutes, ESPN’s highest streaming average minute audience and most unique viewers for weekend college basketball game ever and ESPN’s first college basketball game to surpass 14 million minutes watched.

Additional Duke-North Carolina Highlights:

  • Year-over-Year Growth: ESPN’s TV overnight is up 24% from last season’s second matchup between the Blue Devils and Tar Heels (March 5, 2016). The streaming average audience is also up in every major category from the same game, up 49%, 37%, and 60% in average audience, unique viewers, and total minutes watched, respectively.
  • Overnight Peaks Late in Second Half: ESPN’s TV overnight peaked at a 3.3 during the game’s final minutes (10:15 p.m.-10:30 p.m.).
  • Among the Rivalry’s Best: The 2.6 overnight is tied with the March 7, 2015 game as the rivalry’s best overnight since 2012. Overall, the overnight is tied as the rivalry’s fourth best overnight for ESPN telecasts on record (26 games)* – along with the before mentioned 2015 game and the March 6, 2004 game.

  • Top Markets: Raleigh-Durham earned a 19.5 local rating, the highest rating in the market since end of the 2014-15 season. The complete top 10 local markets:
Rank Market Local
1 Raleigh-Durham 19.5
2 Greensboro 15.1
3 Charlotte 10.7
4 Louisville 7.8
5 Greenville 7.6
6 Richmond-Petersburg 7.4
7 Norfolk 6.6
8 Kansas City 5.2
9. Dayton 4.5
Knoxville 4.5


Duke-UNC Garners Great Interest This Season
In addition to the best overnight on any network, the first matchup between Duke and North Carolina this season (Feb. 9, 2017 on ESPN)  is the best weekday overnight this season on any network (1.9 overnight).  Additionally, the two matchups from this season now account for ESPN’s two most streamed college basketball games ever in all three major metrics – average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched.

Washington State at UCLA Delivers Late Night
Washington State at UCLA (10:15 p.m. ET on March 4, 2017) earned the best overnight and was ESPN’s highest streaming audience for a late-night, weekend Pac-12 game this season. The 1.2 overnight for the Cougars-Bruins tilt also ties as ESPN’s best Pac-12 overnight of the year overall, equaling UCLA at Arizona (8:15 p.m. on Feb. 25) and  Oregon at UCLA (10:15 p.m. on Feb. 9).

*records date back to 2003

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; Derek.Volner@ESPN.com and @DerekVolner