The Saturday morning match up between then No. 5 Indiana and No. 8 Minnesota set a Big Ten Network rating record for being the highest-rated regular-season basketball game in the cable channel’s history.
The game had a program average household rating of 2.08 through eight markets, including Minneapolis and Indianapolis. The game was also the top-rated cable program on Saturday according to Nielsen, a company that measures TV ratings.
While I cannot explain what factors into a program average household rating of 2.08, NBC’s Sunday Night Football averaged a rating of 12.9 in the 2011-12 season.
According to Nielsen, 4.5 million people watched the Menieke Car Care Bowl, which drew a rating of 2.9 and 3.7 million people (or a rating of 2.5) watched a rerun of NCIS on USA, therefore it’s safe to assume that the rating of 2.08 means less than three million people watched the Gopher game.
Thursday’s game against Michigan will air on ESPN so surely the BTN folk are feeling left out of another possible “blockbuster” event, but I wouldn’t lose too much sleep as I’m quite certain the record will stand for only a few weeks as the teams in the top collegiate basketball conference continue to duke it out for the conference crown in the next several weeks.
Markets that were metered by Nielsen include Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.