August 25, 2016
OMAHA, Neb. — The 2016 College World Series had a surprising 25.7 percent viewership decline over the 2015 event on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU from figures obtained by Collegiate Baseball through the NCAA.
Thirteen games had viewership declines comparing Nielsen Ratings from the previous year, including 10 of the first 11 televised games. Game 13 was not played in 2015 and was not factored into the numbers. But the other 16 games were compared to 2016 ratings.
The largest decline was game three of the Championship Finals which saw a 73 percent dip in viewership.
The game was scheduled to be played on Wednesday at prime time starting at 8 p.m. on ESPN. But rain postponed the contest until the next day as the NCAA made the difficult decision to start the game at 1 p.m.
ESPN preferred rescheduling the game to prime time in the evening, but the NCAA decided to play it at 1 p.m. because of weather concerns.
Because of the NCAA’s decision, the national championship game pitting Coastal Carolina and Arizona was switched to ESPNU and only had a 0.31 rating.
That was a 73 percent audience decline from the previous year which was on ESPN in prime time and had a rating of 1.14.
Only two games had increases in viewership. Game 12 between Coastal Carolina and TCU had a 21 percent increase while there was a 9 percent increase in viewership in game two of the Championship Finals between Arizona and Coastal Carolina.
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