TV Numbers: Hokies carry ESPN at noon

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Ah, noon times…a sore spot for Virginia Tech fans, myself included. Today we’ll take a closer look at TV ratings of noon games, and compare them to TV ratings of games later in the afternoon. Specifically, I want to see the numbers of the noon ESPN game (which VT played in two of the past three weeks) and compare it to the later afternoon ESPN game.

First, let’s start with the Georgia Tech weekend….

GT Week

Note that ratings for games on the ACC Network, SEC Network and Big Ten Networks weren’t available for any week. I got my numbers from this site.

Noon games…

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech, ESPN: 2.1 rating, 3.14 million viewers.
Bowling Green at Wisconsin, ESPN2: 0.6 rating, 856K viewers
Iowa at Pitt, ESPNU: 0.6 rating, 884K viewers.

Here are the late afternoon games, and the ratings and views

Florida at Alabama, CBS: 5.1 rating, 7.95 million viewers
Utah at Michigan/Texas A&M at SMU, ABC Regional/ESPN2: 1.8 million, 2.84 million
Virginia at BYU, ESPN: 1.0 rating, 1.64 million viewers
UNC at ECU, ESPNU: 0.4 rating, 682K viewers

More people watched the Florida/Alabama game than watched all the noon games combined! Had the Hokies been put on ESPN at 3:30 instead of UVA/BYU, they would have gotten lost in the shuffle behind Florida/Alabama. Instead, Tech was used at ESPN’s high profile noon game. They maximized their ratings in both time slots. While it stunk for the VT fans, it was actually a backhanded compliment because ESPN knew Tech could get good ratings for that time slot.

ECU Week

Noon games…

Kent State at Ohio State/ Boise State at UConn, ABC Regional/ESPN2: 2.2 rating, 3.43 million viewers
ECU at VT, ESPN: 1.7 rating: 2.56 million viewers
Indiana at Bowling Green, ESPNU: 0.2 rating, 312K viewers

Virginia Tech and ECU drew 2.56 million viewers on one network. They were only topped by combining the Kent State/OSU game with the Boise State/UConn game, and by using two different networks (ABC and ESPN2…I combined the numbers from both networks to come up with the final numbers).

Again, Virginia Tech was the best draw for ESPN at noon.

This is how the late afternoon games looked:

Georgia at South Carolina, CBS: 4.1 rating, 6.77 million viewers