Indiana-Kansas draws highest viewership in Armed Forces Classic history

  • 11/15/2016 8:04 am in

Indiana’s primetime win over No. 3 Kansas on Friday night drew a record viewing audience for the Armed Forces Classic, ESPN announced on Monday.

According to ESPN, the live viewing audience for Indiana-Kansas was 1,592,000, which includes television and streaming.

The Arizona-Michigan State game drew 1,222,000 viewers and is the third highest viewed game in the event’s five-year history.

This was the first time in event history that the Armed Forces Classic has featured four teams. Previous Armed Forces Classic matchups include UConn-Michigan State in 2012, Oregon-Georgetown in 2013, Louisville-Minnesota in 2014 and Gonzaga-Pittsburgh last year, which was canceled due to poor floor conditions.

The full release from ESPN is available below:

ESPN’s Armed Forces Classic – a doubleheader for the first time in its five-year history – earned its single-game, highest rating with No. 11 Indiana’s 103-99 overtime, upset-win against No. 3 Kansas on opening night of the college basketball season – averaging a 0.9 overnight rating. The first game of the doubleheader – No. 10 Arizona’s 65-63 thrilling victory against No. 12 Michigan State – tied for the annual event’s third best overnight with a 0.7 rating with Louisville’s win over Minnesota in the 2014 Classic.

Streaming continues to grow at ESPN, evident with Friday night coverage of the Armed Forces Classic, more than doubling the previous events. The Indiana-Kansas overtime win had an average minute audience of 48,000 viewers, up 220 percent year over year. The first game of the doubleheader, showcasing Arizona’s win over Michigan State, saw a 140 percent increase with an average minute audience of 36,000 viewers.

The 2016 Armed Forces Classic – originated from the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu with surrounding events at the U.S. Navy Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – was played on Veterans Day, November 11, just under a month from the 75thanniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Armed Forces Classic is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. The annual event is scheduled to continue for the foreseeable future with the 2017 event returning to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, featuring Texas A&M against West Virginia.

Armed Forces Classic Top-10 Metered Markets
Indianapolis, Kansas City and Louisville were among the top metered markets for both games of the Armed Forces doubleheader:

– Kansas City was the highest-rated market for Arizona’s win over Michigan State with a 2.9 rating followed by Indianapolis (2.8), Detroit (2.5), Dayton (1.8), Louisville (1.7) and Phoenix (1.6).
– Indianapolis was the highest-rated market for Indiana’s overtime, upset-win over Kansas with a 7.4 rating followed by Kansas City (7.3), Louisville (4.5), Raleigh-Durham (1.6). Richmond (1.3) and Seattle (1.3).

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