via press release:
Significant Audience Increases for Championship Week
ESPN delivered its second most-viewed men’s Championship Week Presented by DICK’s Sporting Goods among households and total viewers since at least 1990 (the first year of the company’s historical viewership records). The network averaged 1,166,000 households and 1,486,000 total viewers based on a 1.2 rating, marking increases of 7 percent, (vs. 1,089,000), 11 percent (vs. 1,344,000) and 9 percent (vs. 1.1), respectively. ESPN scored its most-viewed Championship Week in 2009 with 1,252,000 households and 1,595,000 total viewers based on a 1.3 rating. The 1.2 rating is the third highest rating for the network’s extensive conference tournament lineup since 1998.
In addition to the overall audience, ESPN posted significant increases across key male demographics, including 38 percent for 18-34 (1.1 vs. 0.8), 26 percent for 18-49 (1.1 vs. 0.8) and 13 percent for 25-54 (0.9 vs. 0.8).
ESPN also experienced audience growth on ESPN3.com which generated more than 1.3 million unique viewers and more than 97 million minutes consumed, an average time spent viewing of nearly 75 minutes per unique viewer for its Championship Week coverage. The week delivered nine of the top 10 college basketball games for the 2010-2011 season, including its most unique viewers for a single college basketball game ever with Connecticut vs. Pittsburgh on March 10, up nearly 30 percent compared to the previous top game. Additionally, total minutes consumed on ESPN3.com during the regular season is up 35 percent compared to the 2009-2010 season.