College World Series Sets Multi-Year Viewership Highs, Simultaneously Shatters Streaming Records

BaseballCollege Baseball

College World Series Sets Multi-Year Viewership Highs, Simultaneously Shatters Streaming Records

  • CWS Finals: Most-Watched since 2014, Second-Most Watched CWS Finals Sweep Ever
  • CWS Finals Game Two: More than 2 Million Viewers, Peaks at More than 2.6 Million
  • 2017 College World Series: Every Game Up Year-Over-Year
  • New Orleans Market Delivers Impressive Local Ratings

The 2017 College World Series achieved numerous multi-year total live audience viewership highs, while simultaneously shattering streaming records over the course of the 10-day (June 17-27), 16-game event. The two-game CWS Finals (June 26-27)  which saw the Florida Gators defeat the LSU Tigers 2-0 in a best-of-three series averaged a total live audience of 1,945,000 viewers, the second-most watched sweep in Finals history* and the most-watched Finals of any kind since 2014.

The viewership of nearly 2 million people is up 72% from the 2016 College World Series Finals, which went to a decisive third game. The audience is also up 32% from the last Finals sweep, which occurred in 2013.

More than 2 Million Viewers Watched Florida Clinch its First National Championship
The CWS Finals audience surpassed more than two million viewers for Game Two, as the contest averaged a total live audience of 2,067,000 viewers, the most-watched second game in the best-of-three format in five years (2012). The TV-only audience peaked at 2,620,000 viewers (10:45 p.m. – 11 p.m.) as Florida prevented LSU from tying the game in the eighth inning with a bang-bang play at the plate (see picture). 





CWS Finals Game One is Most-Watched Finals Opener since 2011
Game One the best-of-three College World Series Finals earned a total live audience of 1,826,000 viewers, the best viewership for a Finals opener since 2011. The TV-only audience peaked at 2,349,000 viewers (10:30 p.m. – 10:45 p.m. ET) in the bottom of the ninth inning as Florida closed out its 4-3 victory.

Entire 16-Game College World Series Draws Largest Audience in Years
The 16 games of the College World Series averaged a total live audience of 1,120,000 viewers. The viewership is the event’s highest since 2014 and up 56% from last year’s tournament.

Every Game of 2017 College World Series Delivers Higher Audience than 2016 Event
All 16 games of the 2017 College World Series earned a higher total live audience than the same corresponding game from the 2016 College World Series. Among the 14 early round games, Florida vs. TCU (June 24) had the highest total live audience, with 1,359,000 viewers, the most-watched CWS non-Finals game since 2014 (41 games).

New Orleans Market Delivers Over and Over Again
Buoyed by LSU’s success, the New Orleans market was by far the highest-rated market throughout both the College World Series Finals (19.3 average) and the entire event (8.9 rating ).  Additional highlights:

  • Impressive Level of Interest: New Orleans delivered a 20.1 rating for CWS Finals Game Two, the market’s second best rating ever for a CWS game, trailing only the decisive CWS Finals Game Three in 2009 (LSU vs. Texas).**
  • Early Round Interest Soars: Including both CWS Finals and early round games, six of the New Orleans’ 10 highest-rated CWS games occurred this year.** Additionally, four of the five LSU early round games this year rated better than every single early round game of 2009 CWS, the last time the Tigers advanced to the CWS Finals.

Streaming Viewership Rises, Sets Multiple Records
Fans also relied on the ESPN app to stream the College World Series, setting numerous records along the way. Highlights:

  • Most-Streamed College World Series: Across the 16 games, the College World Series was the most-streamed in all three major metrics: average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes streamed. Each metric was up 48%, 62% and 48%, respectively, year over year.
  • Most-Streamed College World Series Finals: The two-game College World Series Finals was, on average, the most-streamed in the three major metrics: Highest AMA, uniques and total minutes for the Finals.

*CWS Finals sweeps occurred in 2004, ‘05, ‘07, ‘10, ‘11, ‘12, and ‘13
**Records date back to 2002


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
Back to top button