ESPN’s second consecutive year of covering the entire NCAA Division I Baseball Championship – 16 Regional and eight Super Regional sites, and the College World Series – generated significant audience growth over last season, highlighted by the network’s most-viewed College World Series since 2011 and College World Series game since 2009. The coverage also included the third highest-rated baseball telecast, across all cable and broadcast networks, in 2014.
Championship Growth: Increases in Total Reach and Game Averages
Overall, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU combined to televise 62 games over the three rounds, reaching a total of 52,050,000 people, marking a 14 percent increase over the combined 45,517,000 people reached for the 2013 championship.
The networks’ 62 game telecasts averaged 537,000 viewers and a 0.4 US HH rating for increases of six percent (vs. 507,000 viewers) and three percent (vs. 0.3 US HH rating) over 52 game telecasts in 2013.
College World Series: Most-Viewed Series Since 2011
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU’s 17 College World Series telecasts averaged 1,123,000 viewers and a 0.7 US HH rating, making it the most-viewed College World Series since 2011 with increases of 18 percent (vs. 949,000 viewers) and 17 percent (vs. 0.6 US HH rating), respectively, over 14 telecasts in 2013.
College World Series Finals: Third Most-Viewed Baseball Game in 2014 and Most-Viewed CWS game since 2009
ESPN’s telecast of the third, and deciding game, of the College World Series Finals – Vanderbilt defeating Virginia 3-2 – averaged a 1.6 US HH rating and 2,388,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed College World Series game since 2009 when ESPN averaged a 1.7 US HH rating and 2,500,000 viewers for Game 1 of the CWS Finals.
In addition, ESPN’s 1.6 US HH rating for the final game of the college baseball season ranks as the third highest-rated baseball game – professional and college – across all cable and broadcast networks behind two of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball matchups.