Kansas-Kentucky SEC/Big 12 Challenge Game Nets ESPN’s Highest Overnight of the Season

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Kansas-Kentucky SEC/Big 12 Challenge Game Nets ESPN’s Highest Overnight of the Season

TV’s overnight up 11% from last year’s overtime thriller
Streaming audience see 32% increase

ESPN’s crowning game of the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge presented by Sonic on Saturday, Jan. 28 – No. 2 Kansas’ 79-73 defeat of No. 4 Kentucky – earned a 2.0 overnight rating, up 11% over last year’s overtime contest (1.8). The game, played from Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., ranked as the highest-rated college basketball game this season on an ESPN network. It is also marked the highest-rated SEC/Big 12 Challenge game since the series started in 2013-14.

ESPN had a streaming average minute audience of 78,000 viewers, up 32% over last year’s game – tying the 2015 Champions Classic Kentucky vs. Duke matchup as the second most-streamed regular-season college basketball game on ESPN.

This year’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge ended in a 5-5 tie, with the Big 12 retaining the trophy after winning the previous three challenges.

Top-10 Metered Markets
In Louisville, the game averaged a 15.6 rating, the fourth-highest rating this season in the market for a college basketball game.

The matchup averaged a 12.3 rating in Kansas City, up 22% from last year’s 10.1 rating for the Kentucky vs. Kansas matchup. The 12.3 rating ranks as the highest-rated regular-season college basketball game in the market since last year’s Oklahoma vs. Kansas game (Jan. 4; 16.8 rating).

Behind Louisville and Kansas City, the top-10 markets are as followed: Cincinnati (8.6), Nashville (6.4), Knoxville (6.1), Indianapolis (4.8), Memphis (4.6), Greensboro (4.4), Richmond (4.2) and Dayton (3.9).





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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