March Madness Did Not Disappoint….
By: Bill Brassine
Back at the end of February, Kari previewed the upcoming March Madness NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and how powerful it has been the past few years here in the Cincinnati television market from the standpoint of attention and interest.
Now that the madness has settled following the 2012 tournament, the Cincinnati television market could not have asked for a more perfect storm to deliver the best ratings in history.
The interest in the NCAA Tournament had never been greater for Tri-State residents with so many teams from the area performing at such a high level. Nearly half of the Sweet 16 field included teams with a strong fan base influence in the Tri-State including: the tournament’s top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats, the Cincinnati Bearcats, the Xavier Musketeers, the Louisville Cardinals, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Indiana Hoosiers and the Cinderella Ohio Bobcats.
Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State advanced out of the Sweet 16 to make up nearly half of the Elite 8 and then all three advanced on to the Final Four. Having 3 of the final 4 teams with strong fan interest in the Cincinnati area was a television ratings dream come true for WKRC Local 12.
Kari mentioned in her blog post that the Cincinnati market finished as the 6th strongest local market for the 2011 NCAA Tournament with it’s highest rating in the past 20 years. The 2012 NCAA Tournament shattered those strong 2011 results. Cincinnati vaulted into the top 3 performing local spot markets for the 2012 tournament. The top 6 local markets were all in the Tri-State area (1. Louisville, 2. Lexington, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Columbus, 5. Dayton & 6. Indianapolis).
On average, when tournament games were being played in 2012, 1 out of every 4 Cincinnati televisions in use was tuned into the game(s) giving the tournament a 25% share of all television viewing. This equals an average of 125,000 that homes tuned in per game. 90,000 Adults 18-49 tuned in per game and 110,000 Adults 25-54 tuned in per game.
The average household rating per game in Cincinnati for 2012 was a 14.0 which was a 12% increase over last year’s record setting delivery of a 12.5 household rating.
The Final Four household rating in Cincinnati for 2012 was a 26.0 which also was a 12% increase over the 2011 Final Four. The matchups included the epic battle of the Bluegrass between Kentucky and Louisville, followed Ohio State versus Kansas.
The Championship game matchup between Kentucky and Kansas aired on Monday, April 2nd in late primetime (9:30 tip time) and delivered a record setting 29.8 household rating in the Cincinnati market. This was an increase of 24% over the 2011 Championship game between Connecticut and Butler.
As we look ahead to the 2012-13 season, it should be another potential record setting year as all of these same area teams that performed so well this year are projected to all be top 20 teams again next season.
There is no question that Cincinnati is currently right in the middle of the College Basketball Heartland.