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College Basketball - Men's

ACC Tournament Championship Game Sets Pace for All Conference Championship Games; Big 12 and SEC Championship Game Earn Year-Over-Year Rating Increases


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  • ACC Early Rounds Set Records
    • Semifinal: North Carolina vs. Duke Equals ESPN’s Highest-Rated Non-Championship Game on Record
    • Quarterfinals: Highest-Rated Primetime Quarterfinals on Record; Notre Dame vs. Duke Highest Individual ACC Quarterfinal on Record

  • Selection Sunday: ESPN’s Airs Highest-Rated NCAA Tournament Reaction and Analysis Show from 7 to 8 p.m. ET across all Networks

  • ESPN’s Champ Week Rating Maintains Pace

This season’s ACC Tournament Championship Game on ESPN helped set the pace for conference championship games across all networks, while the ACC Tournament early rounds set records. ESPN also saw overnight increases for the Big 12 and SEC Championship game, while also simultaneously out-rating the competition during key head-to-head windows in the final weekend of conference championship play and Selection Sunday aftermath (March 9-11).

ACC, Big 12 and SEC Championship Game Earn Strong Ratings; Beats the Head-to-Head Competition
The ACC Tournament Championship between North Carolina and Virginia (March 10 at 8 p.m.) earned a 2.1 overnight, a 17% increase from the same matchup in the 2016 ACC Tournament Championship and equaling last year’s ACC Tournament Championship between Notre Dame and Duke. The strong overnight equals the highest-rated conference championship game this year across all networks.

Earlier in the same evening, the Big 12 Tournament Championship between West Virginia and Kansas (6 p.m.) earned a 1.7 overnight, up 42% from last year’s Big 12 Tournament Championship and up 13% from the same matchup two seasons ago in the Big 12 Championship. The Mountaineers-Jayhawks game earned a rating 55% better than the conference championship game airing on FOX at a similar time (6:30 p.m.).

On Selection Sunday, the SEC Tournament Championship between Kentucky and Tennessee (March 11, 1 p.m.) earned a 1.6 overnight, up 7% from last year’s SEC Tournament Championship game and was the highest-rated championship game on Sunday across all networks

Fans Tune into ESPN More than Any Other Network for Bracket Reaction and Analysis
After the NCAA Tournament field and matchups were announced, fans tuned to ESPN for instant analysis and reaction. Bracketology was the highest-rated NCAA Tournament related programming from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., earning a 1.3 overnight during that hour and notably beating TBS which had the exclusive reveal of the tournament field and brackets.

North Carolina-Duke ACC Tournament Semifinal Matches Historical Rating; ACC Tournament Quarterfinals Set New Records
The ACC Tournament Semifinal featuring North Carolina vs. Duke (March 9, 9:30 p.m.) earned a 1.9 overnight, equaling ESPN’s Champ Week highest-rated, non-championship game on record. The overnight for the Tar Heel’s victory equaled last year’s ACC Tournament Semifinal between the same two rivals (March 10, 2017 at 7 p.m.) and the classic, six-overtime contest between UConn and Syracuse in the 2009 Big East Quarterfinals (March 13, 2009) as ESPN’s best early round champ week game and surpassed the 227 other similar games dating back to 2005 (ESPN only).

The Tar Heels-Blue Devils game was also up 73% from last year’s second ACC Semifinal played in the same window on ESPN.

The ACC Tournament Quarterfinals featuring Notre Dame vs. Duke (March 8 at 7 p.m.) and North Carolina vs. Miami (March 8 at 9 p.m.), on average, are the highest-rated ACC Prime-time Quarterfinals on record and up 71% from last season’s ACC Prime-time Quarterfinals. Individually, the Fighting Irish-Blue Devils is the highest-rated ACC Quarterfinal game on record with a 1.2 overnight

Please note: ESPN’s telecast for all ACC Tournament games co-exists with Raycom’s television production in ACC territories

ESPN’s Champ Week Ratings Equals Last Year’s Champ Week Rating
The overnight average for ESPN’s men’s basketball Champ Week schedule equaled the overnight average of last year’s championship week games.

Please note: All games aired on ESPN unless noted


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