ESPN Breaks New Ground With 2012-2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Good news for ESPN.  The networks’ coverage of the 2012-2013 college basketball regular season was its most viewed ever.  ESPN averaged nearly 1.4 million viewers over the course of 135 games.  To be precise, it averaged 1,370,000 viewers.  That passes the network’s previous record of 1,353,000 viewers over 130 telecasts during the 2011-2012 Season.  It pulled in a 1.1 coverage rating for both seasons.  Along with this new honor, ESPN also pulled in the season’s three largest audiences for a college basketball game on the network over the course of only a month.  The first of those games was then #3 Indiana taking down #1 Michigan on February 2nd.  The game was the best for the network.  It brought in an average of 4,035,000 viewers, a 2.9 rating and 2,867,000 households.  The second of the network’s best games was the February 19th game in which then #1 Indiana defeated #4 Michigan State.  This game brought ESPN its second largest audience of the season, with an average of 3,733,000 viewers, a 2.7 coverage rating and 2,677,000 households.  The third of the network’s highest rated games was the March 2nd matchup between then #3 Duke defeating #5 Miami 79-76.  The game averaged 3,416,000 viewers, a 2.5 coverage rating and 2,459,000 households. 

In all, ESPN and its network of stations averaged a total of 508,000 viewers for its full slate of 602 games throughout its 2012-2013 season.  It marked the most extensive coverage of men’s basketball on television this season and more than any other networks combined pointing out yet again why ESPN is the sports leader.

One extra interesting note:  Louisville was the highest-rated metered market for the network’s 2012-2013 regular season coverage.  It pulled in an average 4.5 rating.  Greensboro came in second for the second straight year with a 3.1 rating.  A full listing of the top rated cities is available below.

Top 25 Markets for 2012-13 Top 25 Markets for 2011-12
No. 1    Louisville: 4.5 rating No. 1    Louisville: 4.5 rating
No. 2    Greensboro: 3.1 rating No. 2    Greensboro: 3.5 rating
No. 3   Raleigh-Durham: 3.0 rating No. 3   Kansas City: 2.8 rating
No. 4    Indianapolis: 2.9 rating No. 4    Columbus: 2.7 rating
No. 5   Kansas City: 2.7 rating         Raleigh-Durham 2.7 rating
No. 6   Cincinnati: 2.1 rating No. 6   Charlotte: 2.3 rating
        Columbus: 2.1 rating No. 7    Cincinnati: 2.1 rating
No. 8   Dayton: 2.0 rating No. 8   Dayton: 2.0 rating
No. 9    Charlotte: 1.8 rating No. 9    Indianapolis: 1.8 rating
No. 10  Knoxville: 1.7 rating         Knoxville: 1.8 rating
        Nashville: 1.7 rating No. 11   Memphis: 1.6 rating
No. 12  Detroit: 1.6 rating         Nashville: 1.6 rating
No. 13  Birmingham: 1.5 rating No. 13  Greenville: 1.5 rating
No. 14  Memphis: 1.3 rating No. 14  Cleveland: 1.4 rating
        Hartford & New Haven: 1.3 rating         Birmingham: 1.4 rating
        Greenville: 1.3 rating         Las Vegas: 1.4 rating
        Cleveland: 1.3 rating No. 17  Norfolk: 1.2 rating
        Norfolk: 1.3 rating         Hartford and New Haven: 1.2 rating
        St. Louis: 1.3 rating         St. Louis: 1.2 rating
No. 20   Richmond: 1.2 rating No. 20   Fort Myers: 1.1 rating
        Las Vegas: 1.2 rating         Atlanta: 1.1 rating
No. 22  Fort Myers: 1.1 rating         Richmond: 1.1 rating
        Milwaukee: 1.1 rating No. 23  Pittsburgh: 1.0 rating
No. 24  Baltimore: 1.0 rating         Detroit: 1.0 rating
        Tulsa: 1.0 rating         Oklahoma City: 1.0 rating
        Atlanta: 1.0 rating         Jacksonville: 1.0 rating
        Oklahoma City: 1.0 rating         Tulsa: 1.0 rating

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at