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Most-Watched ACC Championship Game in Nearly 20 Years Headlines Record Audiences for ACC Tournament


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  • Duke vs. North Carolina: ESPN’s Most-Watched Non-Championship Conference Tournament Game Ever

  • Arizona vs. Oregon: ESPN’s Most-Watched Pac-12 Championship Game Ever

The ACC Championship between Duke and Notre Dame (March 11 at 9 p.m. ET) averaged a total live audience (TV + streaming) of 3,695,000 viewers, the most-watched ACC Tournament game in nearly 20 years and, overall, the second most-watched ACC Tournament game in history*. The Blue Devils- Fighting Irish  audience was up 29% from last season’s ACC Championship game (Virginia and North Carolina), held during the same television window.

ACC Semifinals Draw Record Audiences; Most-Watched ACC Championship + Semifinals Ever
Prior to the ACC Championship game, the Duke vs. North Carolina semifinal (March 10 at 7 p.m.) averaged a total live audience of 3,082,000 viewers, ESPN’s most-watched non-championship conference tournament game ever across all conference tournaments and up 117% from the ACC’s first semifinal last season (Notre Dame vs. North Carolina).  The conference’s second semifinal between Notre Dame and Florida State (March 10 at 9 p.m.) averaged a total live audience of 1,844,000 viewers, up 69% from last year’s second semifinal (Miami vs. Virginia). Together, the semifinals averaged 2,463,000 viewers, the most-watched ACC Semifinals ever. Both semifinals this year were played the same television window as in 2016.

Adding in the Championship game, the three-game ACC Tournament conclusion averaged a total live audience of 2,874,000 viewers, the most-viewed ACC Semifinals/Championship in ACC Tournament history and up 64% from the conference’s three-game finale last year.

ESPN’s Additional Championship Week Highlights:

  • Most-Watched Pac-12 Championship Game: The Pac-12 Championship game between Arizona and Oregon (March 11 at 11 p.m.) averaged a total live audience of 2,148,000 viewers, ESPN’s most-viewed Pac-12 Champ among the three it has aired (2013 and 2015).
  • Championship Saturday: ESPN’s tripleheader of conference tournament finales (Big 12, ACC and Pac-12) averaged 2,717,000 viewers, up from last year when it featured just the Big 12 and ACC Championship games

*Most-Watched ACC Championship Game: North Carolina vs. Duke in 1998
Records date back to 1997

Please note: Nielsen ratings were delayed in reporting until March 15


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner