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Discussion Topic: ESPN's presentation of NCAAs reaches 8.6 million
James Kessen added to this discussion on March 22, 2017

ESPN's three-day, six-session presentation of the NCAA Wrestling Championships (March 16-18) reached 8.6 million people on television, a healthy 6% increase over last year's similar presentation.

Championship Finals Draw More Than 750,000 Viewers

The NCAA Wrestling Championships Finals (March 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN) delivered an average total live audience (TV + streaming) of 753,000 viewers, up 12% from last year's Championship Finals (March 19, 2016). The 2017 Championship Finals audience is the largest for the sport's final night in the last four years and is the fourth most-watched on record.

Three-Day, Six-Session Championships Experience Year-Over-Year Growth

ESPN's entire presentation of the NCAA Wrestling Championship -- six sessions across the three days -- averaged a total live audience of 314,000 viewers, up 24% from last year. Similar to the Championship Finals, the 314,000 viewers, on average for each session, is ESPN's best in the last four years.

Additional NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Highlights:

Every Mat, Every Match Audience Grows: ESPN3's every mat, every match coverage continues to grow in popularity, as ESPN's streaming audience increased in each of the individual six sessions for both average minute audience and total minutes watched compared to last year's event. This is best demonstrated by Saturday night's Championship Finals, which experienced a 21% increase in streaming average minute audience year-over-year. Additionally, fans streamed more than 3,700,000 minutes of action during the Championship Finals, also an increase of 21% over last year.

Local Markets: Columbus was the top-rated market, drawing a 1.6 local rating. Pittsburgh (1.4), Philadelphia (1.0), Oklahoma City (1.0), and St. Louis (0.9) round out the top 5 local markets.

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