Annual State Farm Champions Classic Posts Second-Highest Rating in Five-Year History

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Annual State Farm Champions Classic Posts Second-Highest Rating in Five-Year History

College Football Playoff: Top 25 Earns Best Overnight Rating in Show History
ESPN’s Action Continues with Early-Season Tournaments over Holiday Week

ESPN’s coverage of the State Farm Champions Classic – No. 2 Kentucky’s 74-63 win over No. 5 Duke and No. 13 Michigan State’s 79-73 victory over No. 4 Kansas on Tuesday, Nov. 17 – averaged a 1.7 overnight rating for the doubleheader, the second-highest rating in the five-year history of the event (behind 2013, 2.7 average).

In addition, the Kentucky-Duke game ranked as the third-highest rated Champions Classic game with a 2.2 overnight rating, behind both games in 2013. (Kentucky-Michigan State, 2.6 & Kansas-Duke, 2.3).

This year’s contests were the culmination of ESPN’s eighth annual Tip-Off Marathon presented by Constant Contact starting the season with 31 hours of continuous game and studio action from Monday, Nov. 16 through Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The Champions Classic is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

ESPN Unveiled College Football Playoff: Top 25 Live from Chicago
In between the Champions Classic doubleheader, the latest College Football Playoff committee rankings were exclusively unveiled on College Football Playoff: Top 25 (approx. 9:30 p.m.). The 30-minute special earned a 1.8 overnight, ranking as the best overnight in the history of the show (14 episodes*).
*Includes four episodes where College Football Playoff rankings were not unveiled  

Champions Classic Top-10 Metered Markets
Six markets were among the top-10 highest rated markets for both games of the Champions Classic doubleheader: Cincinnati, Dayton, Kansas City, Knoxville, Louisville and Memphis.

  • Louisville led all markets for coverage of Kentucky’s win over Duke with a 20.3 rating followed by Raleigh-Durham (9.3), Greensboro (7.8), Cincinnati (7.0), Greenville (5.1), Knoxville (5.0), Dayton (4.9), Kansas City (4.8), Charlotte (4.7) and Memphis (4.7).
  • Kansas City was the highest-rated market for Michigan State’s win over Kansas with an 8.2 rating followed by Louisville (3.6), Detroit (3.2), Birmingham (2.7), Cincinnati (2.1), Dayton (2.1), Richmond (2.0). Knoxville (1.9), Memphis (1.9), Las Vegas (1.8) and Nashville (1.8).

Men’s College Basketball: Early-Season Tournaments Tip-Off
ESPN’s men’s basketball schedule continues during Feast Week presented by Lowe’s – highlighted by several tournaments beginning Thursday, Nov. 19, and continuing through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend: Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Gildan Charleston Classic, 2K Classic, Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off, Maui Jim Maui Invitational, FanDuel Legends Classic and CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

Ranked teams in action include: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 4 Kansas, No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Virginia, No. 13 Michigan State, No. 14 Indiana, No. 16 Utah, No. 17 Vanderbilt, No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 21 Purdue, No. 22 Butler and No. 23 LSU. Full schedule of week’s game (Wednesday-Tuesday)



Rachel Margolis Siegal

A part of the Internal Communications team at ESPN, I began with the network in 2010 as part of the College Sports PR team. Always an avid sports fan and not an athlete – I grew up a huge fan of the Hartford Whalers, while also watching my brother compete at different levels. I became the manager of several high school sports teams and continued that hobby into college. While at Quinnipiac, I worked in the Sports Information Department, which led me to a summer internship at the New Haven Ravens, a AA baseball team, and an eventual job with the Athletic Communications Department at the University of Connecticut. After my five-year stint at Connecticut, I spent six years as Director of Communications at the BIG EAST Conference in Providence, R.I. before joining ESPN.
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