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[11/18/15 - 08:48 AM]
Annual State Farm Champions Classic Posts Second-Highest Rating in Five-Year History
ESPN spins the numbers for Tuesday, November 17.

[via press release from ESPN]

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 Contacts 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)

Annual State Farm Champions Classic Posts Strong Numbers for ESPN and WatchESPN

WatchESPN Nets Most-Watched College Basketball Game to Date

College Football Playoff: Top 25 Earns Best Viewership and Rating in Show History

ESPN's coverage of No. 2 Kentucky's 74-63 win over No. 5 Duke as part of the annual State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 17, averaged 3,120,000 viewers, marking the second most watched Champions Classic game behind the 2013 Michigan State-Duke contest (4,002,000 viewers). The Champions Classic, in its fifth year, annually pits Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State against each other in the neutral-site, early-season men's doubleheader.

The Kentucky-Duke game was WatchESPN's most-watched college basketball game ever, attracting an additional 78,000 average minute impressions to the TV audience, 268,000 total unique viewers and 10,300,000 live minutes viewed - up 39 percent, 22 percent and 12 percent, respectively compared to the previous high (UNC-Duke on Feb. 18, 2015). Overall, the two Champions Classic games attracted 62,000 average minute impressions, up 83 percent compared to last year.

The doubleheader - which also included No. 13 Michigan State's 79-73 victory over No. 4 Kansas from the United Center in Chicago - averaged 2,485,000 viewers.

This year's contests were the culmination of ESPN's eighth annual Tip-Off Marathon presented by Constant Contact - which saw a 6% viewership increase over 2014 (595,000 vs. 560,000). The Marathon consisted of 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 live onsite during College Football Playoff: Top 25. The 30-minute special averaged 3,033,000 viewers and a 1.9 HH rating, garnering the best numbers on record. (14 episodes includes four 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)





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