The NCAA has released television ratings for the 2009 College World Series, and the news is good for broadcasts on both ESPN and ESPN2. Overall, the 2009 CWS (the 30th straight Series broadcast by ESPN) was the most-viewed and highest-rated in the history of both ESPN and ESPN2. Having marquee names like Louisiana State and Texas go deep into the Series figured to be a boon for ratings, and indeed it was. Let’s crunch some numbers:
• Overall, ESPN averaged 1,450,000 households, 1,928,000 viewers and a 1.5 rating, marking increases of 33 percent (vs. 1,091,000), 37 percent (vs. 1,408,000) and 36 percent (vs. 1.1), respectively, over 2008.
• ESPN’s three CWS Finals telecasts averaged 2,059,000 households; 2,762,000 total viewers; and a 2.1 rating, making it the most-viewed and highest-rated Finals since the tournament expanded to the best-of-three format in 2003. This season’s games marked increases of 24 percent (vs. 1,664,000), 26 percent (vs. 2,193,000) and 24 percent (vs. 1.7), respectively, over last year.
• The Finals produced three of ESPN’s top four most-viewed College World Series telecasts ever, highlighted by the most-viewed and second highest-rated for the decisive Game Three, which averaged 2,303,000 households; 3,160,000 viewers; and a 2.3 rating. Game Two stands as the third most-viewed with 1,964,000 households, 2,620,000 viewers and a 2.0 rating. Game One was the fourth most-viewed.
• ESPN2 averaged 821,000 households and 1,043,000 viewers for increases of 6 percent (vs. 771,000) and 6 percent (vs. 988,000), respectively, over last year. The network averaged a 0.8 rating, the same as last season.
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