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College Baseball

ESPN Rounds the Bases with Record Viewership for 2018 NCAA Baseball Super Regionals


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  • ESPN’s Airs Its Most-Watched Complete Super Regionals Round Ever; Four-Day Slate Up 40% from Same Round Last Season
  • Auburn-Florida’s Decisive Game Three is Most-Watched Super Regional Game in Nine Years
  • ESPN’s NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Viewership Up 34% Heading into College World Series

The 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship rewrote the record books last weekend (June 8-11) as ESPN’s coverage of the 2018 Super Regionals became the most-watched round-of-16 since the network began covering every game from the round nearly 10 seasons ago* and delivered the most-watched Super Regional game in nearly the same time period.

The eight, best-of-three series (23 games) which determined the College World Series field, averaged 449,000 viewers a game, not only setting a new viewership record, but also increasing viewership 40% from the same round a year ago. The four-day, high drama action concluded with the heart-stopping Game 3 showdown between Southeastern Conference rivals Auburn and Florida (June 11 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN) which averaged 891,000 viewers, the most-watched Super Regional game in nine seasons. The audience peaked at 1.3 million viewers as the teams were in extra innings at McKethan Stadium (11:15-11:30 p.m.). The Florida Gators’ Austin Langworthy hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to send the defending National Champions back to Omaha.

New Orleans and Birmingham led the way among markets during the Super Regionals with a 1.3 and 1.1 local rating, respectively, for the entire round. The complete top markets:

Rank Market DMA Avg. Rating
1 New Orleans 1.3
2 Birmingham 1.1
3. Memphis 0.9
4. Nashville 0.8
Greenville-Sprtnburg-Ash 0.8
Charlotte 0.8
Jacksonville-N. Brunswk. 0.8
8. Norfolk-Portsmth-N. Nws 0.7
Greensboro-High Point 0.7
Louisville 0.7

ESPN’s coverage of all rounds of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship is up 34% from last season heading into the College World Series, including the regional round viewership, which was up 9% on ESPN’s rated networks from last season’s regional round (27 games).**

ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship continues with the College World Series Presented by Capital One, beginning Saturday, June 16 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. For the 16th consecutive year, ESPN will provide coverage of every game in the College World Series, resulting in potentially 17 games over a 12-day span. ESPN is the home of 24 NCAA Championships, with the College World Series closing out the 2017-18 college sports season.

*ESPN began covering every game of NCAA Super Regionals in 2010
**SEC Network and Longhorn Network, which are not rated, aired seven games in the regional round