The UCF Knights’ loss to Cincinnati on ESPN2 last Thursday picked up 197,000 viewers, just a bit less than the Knights’ win over Memphis last Saturday night, which was watched by 212,000 viewers on the same network, according to ShowBuzzDaily.com.
That means UCF-Memphis was the second-most watched UCF Basketball game of the season behind only the Knights’ win over Saint Joseph’s in the semifinal of the Myrtle Beach Invitational on November 16th, which picked up 252,000 viewers. UCF would go on to win the tournament over Western Kentucky.
Keep in mind that the Knights’ win over Saint Joseph’s and Memphis were both televised on ESPN2. Games on ESPNU and ESPNews do not draw big numbers for college basketball like being on ESPN or ESPN2 do due to those networks being in more homes. For example, ESPN2 is in more than 20 million more homes more than ESPNU and ESPNews.
Also the Knights-Tigers game had the tough task of going head-to-head with College Basketball’s biggest TV draw, as Duke was playing N.C. State at the same time on ESPN.
Last season, UCF’s most watched basketball game was on ESPN Thursday night: An OT loss to Wichita State which had 535,000 viewers - the most-watched UCF regular season Basketball game ever.
UCF’s most-watched ESPN2 telecast last season was the game at Wichita State, with 268,000 viewers.
UCF’s run into the NIT two years ago produced the most-watched games for the program on cable. The Knights’ NIT semifinal game against TCU was watched by 678,000 viewers on ESPN. That is the most-watched UCF Basketball game on cable television in the program’s history. The Knights’ win over Illinois in the Elite Eight of the NIT last season drew 573,000 viewers on ESPN2, and UCF’s road win at Illinois State in the game before that garnered 597,000 viewers on ESPN.
It remains to be seen how many nationally-televised games UCF will have left on ESPN or ESPN2 after the Cincinnati loss on Thursday. The Knights’ game at Houston on March 2 will be televised on ESPN with ESPN’s College Gameday in town showcasing the game.
UCF’s last home game against Cincinnati on March 7th will also be on either ESPN or ESPN2.