Will Butler Prove A Cinderella For NCAA Finals Ratings Too?
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|
- NBC televised the game from 1975-1981, CBS from 1982-present.
- 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.
- 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.