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2013/2014 Bearcat Basketball Ratings Update

Ratings-wise, I was curious how the rest of the Bearcats' basketball games fared on television this past year.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

So it's been a while since we last checked in on UC's basketball television ratings. 7 months to be exact. Curious how many folks were checking out the Bearcats on television? Me too...

First, get your complimentary education right here; it's the first post I made regarding UC's basketball ratings, and it'll provide some context for the numbers and rankings I'm using below.

Second, all of this info comes directly from either the Son of the Bronx blog or Sports Media Watch - which means not every rating was available, but I'm giving you what I could find.

Date Opponent Channel Rating* Viewers Weekly Rank**
1/4/14 Memphis ESPN2 0.3 514,000 3rd
1/18/14 USF ESPNU 0.1 82,000 13th
1/30/14 UL ESPN 0.8 1,130,000 8th
2/6/14 UCONN ESPN 0.7 933,000 10th
2/8/14 SMU ESPNU 0.1 125,000 9th
2/15/14 Houston ESPNU 0.2 262,000 5th
2/19/14 UCF ESPNU 0.0 48,000 16th
2/22/14 UL CBS 1.1 1,660,000 N/A
3/1/14 UCONN ESPN 0.8 1,075,000 10th
3/6/14 Memphis ESPN 0.6 800,000 11th
3/8/14 Rutgers ESPNews 0.1 132,000 2nd
3/13/14 UCF (AAC Tourney) ESPNU 0.2 298,000 5th
3/14/14 UCONN (AAC Tourney) ESPN2 0.5 789,000 2nd
3/20/14 Harvard (NCAA Tourney) TNT 1.0 1,660,000 N/A

*Household Rating: A 1.0 rating equals 1% of all U.S. TV households
**Weekly Rank: Game ranking in terms of views on that specific network for the week. For example, if a rank is '2nd' on ESPNU, it was the second most viewed college basketball game on that channel for the week

A couple observations:

  • Even though I couldn't find the CBS Sports Network rankings, we all know they're lower than any ESPN rating.
  • Only 4 times during this portion of the regular season did the Bearcats attain a TV rating of 0.7 or higher - and those games all came against UL or UCONN. What happens with UL leaving for the ACC?
  • I get that ratings largely depend on the network, day, and time of the game - but the teams playing obviously have something to do with how many people tune in.
  • It's not as bad as it looks, though. According to Sports Media Watch, 82% of all college basketball games aired on TV this past season notched a 0.5 rating or lower. And more than half of all games recorded a 0.1 rating or lower.

So while the Bearcats didn't necessarily overwhelm national audiences last year, things could have been worse. They could have been on FS1 or FS2 - the networks that aired the 10 least-viewed games of the season. With UL leaving, I'm worried the 'Cats won't appear on ESPN/CBS in primetime slots as much as the did before. Yeah, UC's one of the big, premier AAC programs now, but ESPN has plenty of inventory that could result in Cronin's crew getting relegated to the smaller ESPN networks.