Earlier this week, Sports Media Watch compiled a list of the 50-most watched sporting events from the first half of the sports calendar. (Sports Media Watch used the All-Star Break as the unofficial cut-off point.)
If you peel back from the obvious — the NFL is an unstoppable juggernaut — there’s at least one local story to glean. For the Kansas basketball program, March and April were a pretty good month of exposure.
KU appeared on the list three times, with the Jayhawks’ final three NCAA tourney games being watched by nearly 50 million fans combined. In all, there were seven college basketball games on the list.
No. 15: KU-Kentucky, NCAA title game, 12.3 rating, 20.869 million viewers
No. 21: KU-Ohio State, Final Four, 9.6 rating, 16.603 million
No. 32: KU-North Carolina, Elite Eight, 7.1 rating, 11.683 million
Other college basketball games:
No. 25: Kentucky-Louisville, Final Four, 8.4 rating, 13.908 million
No. 35: Ohio State-Syracuse, 6.7 rating, 10.949 million
No. 45: North Carolina-Creighton, 5.7 rating, 8.799 million
No. 46: Kentucky-Indiana, 5.2 rating, 8.702 million
Here’s a couple other interesting notes from the list:
• There were five college football games on the list, including K-State vs. Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. It’s not a bad number, considering the time frame (which started Jan. 1) only included a handful of bowl games.
No. 13: Alabama-LSU, BCS Champ, 14.0 rating, 24.214 million
No. 18: Oregon-Wisconsin, Rose Bowl,10.2 rating, 17,558 million
No. 26: Oklahoma State-Stanford, Fiesta Bowl, 8.4 rating, 13.684 million
No. 40: Michigan-Virginia Tech, Sugar Bowl, 6.1 rating, 9.572 million
No. 49: Kansas State-Arkansas, Cotton Bowl, 5.0 rating, 8.363 million
• The top 12 events were all NFL games — and so were 14 of the top 16.
• The Pro Bowl drew a bigger audience than KU-North Carolina in the Elite Eight. (Seriously, the Pro Bowl? What gives?)