BTN Communications, March 5, 2018
The 2018 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament on BTN delivered significant audiences this past week, featuring the most-watched programming across all cable sports networks in BTN's 12 metered markets* over four doubleheaders on Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2.
The average audience for the sessions, two on Thursday and two on Friday, bested competing programming on every other national cable sports network** in Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the 2018 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament not only produced BTN's largest aggregate tournament viewership ever, up 99% over the 2017 tournament and 142% over the 2016 tournament, but also the top basketball viewing audience over a three-day period in network history.
The tournament got off to a strong start with all four of Thursday's games broadcast exclusively on BTN. Viewership averaged a 0.52 HH rating, increasing by nearly 41% over the same set of games split among BTN and ESPN2 during the 2017 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.
In addition to the linear network audience, Thursday's matchup between Michigan State and Wisconsin set a BTN record as the largest streaming audience with 69,239 average viewers per minute. For the duration of the tournament on BTN, the first 10 games, the average viewers per minute was 29,038 on BTN2Go and Fox Sports GO.
*Source: Nielsen Metered Market Overnights: Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
**ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, FS2, NBCSN