ESPN’s record-setting NCAA Wrestling Championship coverage reaches millions of viewers
ESPN’s record-setting coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships – first-time live telecasts of all six sessions and individual cameras across all mats on ESPN3 -- generated significant audiences across television and digital platforms. The four telecasts on ESPNU and two on ESPN (Thursday, March 20 to Saturday, March 22) combined to reach 8.6 million people, a 39% increase over last year (8.6 million vs. 6.2 million). The 20-hours of television coverage averaged 253,000 viewers.
ESPN’s expanded digital coverage on ESPN3, which included the debut of Off the Mat – a special during the championship finals -- in addition to individual mat cameras, generated 12.8 million minutes consumed on ESPN3 and WatchESPN, a 1% increase over the 2013 championship. WatchESPN is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV and Roku.
Oklahoma’s Tulsa and Oklahoma City were the two highest-rated metered markets, respectively, for ESPN’s combined semifinal and final telecasts. Minneapolis was third followed by Pittsburgh, Birmingham, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Greenville.
ESPN began covering the NCAA Wrestling Division I Championships in 1980. Live telecasts of the championship finals began in 2004 and preliminary round telecasts began in 2005. Since 2011, ESPN has provided live coverage of all six sessions on ESPN3.