Will Butler Prove A Cinderella For NCAA Finals Ratings Too?

Categories: TV Ratings Reference,TV Sports Ratings & News

Written By

April 5th, 2010


Last year's NCAA Men's basketball final game had among the lowest average viewership in history, and it featured North Carolina, a team you'd think would be among the best draws. Duke, another team you'd assume is a big draw (they certainly were in past finals) hasn't been to the final game in 9 years, so historical precedent might not able to be relied upon. Butler is the real wild card. Has a team with their relative Cinderella-hood been to the final in the relatively modern era covered by these ratings? Perhaps Marquette in 1977. Certainly not either Houston or UNLV in the 80s and 90s. The Final Four semi-final games had the best ratings in 5 years. What will all of this mean to the finals ratings?

Here is the full TV ratings and some additional facts (all numbers in millions of average viewers):

Year Through Regional Finals Regional Finals Championship Game
Finals Matchup
1975 30.08 UCLA vs KENTUCKY
1976 26.71 INDIANA vs MICHIGAN
1977 26.40 MARQUETTE vs NORTH CAROLINA
1978 25.38 KENTUCKY vs DUKE
1979 35.11 MICHIGAN ST vs INDIANA ST
1980 LOUISVILLE vs UCLA
1981 29.06 INDIANA vs NORTH CAROLINA
1982 30.59 NORTH CAROLINA vs GEORGETOWN
1983 32.14 NC STATE vs HOUSTON
1984 25.14 GEORGETOWN vs HOUSTON
1985 31.23 VILLANOVA vs GEORGETOWN
1986 28.71 LOUISVILLE vs DUKE
1987 32.06 INDIANA vs SYRACUSE
1988 26.69 KANSAS vs OKLAHOMA
1989 31.12 MICHIGAN vs SETON HALL
1990 29.26 UNLV vs DUKE
1991 29.02 DUKE vs KANSAS
1992 34.31 DUKE vs MICHIGAN
1993 32.94 NORTH CAROLINA vs MICHIGAN
1994 32.73 ARKANSAS vs DUKE
1995 27.41 UCLA vs ARKANSAS
1996 26.67 KENTUCKY vs SYRACUSE
1997 28.36 ARIZONA vs KENTUCKY
1998 26.60 KENTUCKY vs UTAH
1999 26.30 CONNECTICUT vs DUKE
2000 20.59 MICHIGAN ST vs FLORIDA
2001 8.0 9.80 23.87 DUKE vs ARIZONA
2002 8.5 10.65 23.69 MARYLAND vs INDIANA
2003 7.2 8.46 18.57 SYRACUSE vs  KANSAS
2004 8.4 9.38 17.09 CONNECTICUT vs GEORGIA TECH
2005 9.7 12.38 23.90 NORTH CAROLINA vs ILLINOIS
2006 8.8 10.11 17.54 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA vs UCLA
2007 8.3 9.20 19.56 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA vs OHIO STATE
2008 8.0 9.02 19.50 KANSAS vs MEMPHIS
2009 17.60 NORTH CAROLINA vs MICHIGAN STATE
  1. NBC televised the game from 1975-1981, CBS from 1982-present.
  2. Since 1975, the NCAA Championship Final game has always been on a Monday night, starting between 8-9pm Eastern until 1991 since then it's started at 9:15 Eastern every year except 1995 when it started at 8:30pm.
  3. 2006-9 data above is Live+SD, all other data is Live viewing.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
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