BYU NIT ratings show ESPN and ESPN2 are not equal

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  • Naminoriyaro Lovell, WY
    April 22, 2013 6:01 a.m.

    "This begs the question: Why would ESPN choose to air..." Please, "begging the question" is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. To beg the question does not mean to raise the question.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    sls: "Meanwhile, BYU's stock is on the rise, even after a relatively lackluster season in football, capped off by a bowl victory on ESPN." Don't forget your truly stellar 2013 recruiting class. So, take that you, you, Utes. lol

  • sls Columbia, MO
    April 20, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    The reason that an article like this attracts lots of comments from ute fans is the recognition that BYU's contract with ESPN has a lot more value than just the money that BYU earns. The utes are struggling in their new conference. They get money but not exposure. And the basketball program is still in the dumps while the football program has taken a nosedive--so low that the utes now have to cancel their rivalry contract so that they can recruit in Fresno in a desperate attempt to compete for some overlooked players in the PAC12.

    The desperation increases the hostility towards BYU, even though the two schools are no longer competing for conference titles. Meanwhile, BYU's stock is on the rise, even after a relatively lackluster season in football, capped off by a bowl victory on ESPN.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    April 19, 2013 9:31 p.m.

    @Wiscougarfan... I think that your comment directed at Chris B may have been the best "put down" I have seen on these blogs... Thanks from all of us.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2013 6:43 p.m.

    Of course the assumption is that all those who tuned into the game do so just to watch byu. Never is it considered that Baylor has fans. Nope, they all wanted to watch byu. I'd bet my house that if byu had played Duke, the ratings would have been through the roof even on ESPN2. Why, because more people would have wanted to watch byu...wink, wink.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    April 19, 2013 6:09 p.m.


    I love your comment...other than saying that BYU fans have egos. Not all do, just as there are SOME Utah fans with egos. I agree with the "do something in the last 30 years" comment. To a point. Jimmer and Cotton Bowl. What's more important to note is that when BYU wins a game against a ranked opponent, they see huge benefits. But we also have to be honest in the fact that BYU puts fans in the seats at home and on the road, and they also put eyes in front of the tv. In a world driven by tv ratings, that is going to trump the "what have you done lately" montra. In most cases. Face it. ESPN loves putting BYU on its networks, but they also don't want to saturate the market. It also benefits them to put BYU on the deuce, if only to lift the ratings a little harder for their #2 option on tv.

    And yes, I agree that BYU needs to do something big that is more current. At least in the case of football.

  • AntelopeValleyUte Palmdale, CA
    April 19, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    Gone fishin, perception is what I'm talking about in the eyes of TV networks (aka ESPN affiliates). While this article was written by Deseret News, it represents the mentality of some BYU fans, "I wrote earlier this week about how BYU benefits from Friday night games, primarily because they always air on The Mothership and not its little sister.

    In football, BYU games on ESPN average about 1.7 million households viewing, while games on ESPN2 don’t even get 1 million." The writer wrote this like they are picky as if BYU was not televised on ESPN but rather ESPN2. Point is, as with Utah, BYU is in the same boat, you won't get the TV love unless you've done something recently, not 30 years ago, not even 4 years ago. What have you done lately? While ESPN will consider the Mormon national following, they will pick other popular household names in the country before BYU, and that includes women's basketball.

    Some of you BYU fans can rub it in, and least I admit Utah has work to do in many areas. Some BYU fans won't admit shortcomings their teams may's called ego.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    April 19, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    I had fun looking at Nielsen ratings over my lunch break today. Interesting that no anti-byu trolls have brought up actual ratings for this last year. Here’s a summary…

    BYU basketball: 10 games on national tv (I’m not counting BYUtv since it's not truly national), 347k average number of viewers per game
    Utah basketball: 4 games, 288k average viewers
    USU basketball: 1 game, 114k average viewers

    BYU football: 9 games (3 BCS opponents, 6 non BCS), 1.68m average viewers
    Utah football: 5 games (4 BCS, 1 non), 1.27m average viewers
    USU football: 3 games (1 BCS, 2 non), 1.63m average viewers

    Nielsen might have it wrong, but it look like BYU plays to more of a national audience than the other Utah schools AND more people watch their games. Also interesting to note that more people are watching BYU play non-BCS schools than are tuning in to watch Utah play PAC 12 schools. Independence ain’t so bad. Go Cougs!

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    April 19, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    Meh. Could be worse. We could be on "The Ocho."

    Why do I get the feeling that arguing over TV contracts, "national brands" or viewership statistics is the new "my dad can beat up your dad?"

  • Striker Omaha, NE
    April 19, 2013 9:34 a.m.


    "WCC Mens basketball????
    Womens basketball???

    Hhhhmmmm...what should I watch??? Hhmmmm....tough one, I'll get back to you tomorrow..."

    WCC men's basketball blog on BYU being on ESPN?
    ute blog.....which should I read and comment on??? Hmmm, tough one....

    I looked tomorrow, and found my answer. Easy to tell which basketball you would watch. Nice try.

  • Duckhunted provo, UT
    April 19, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Lets start singing Rise and Shout The Cougars are out.....Stupid conferences don't recognize our national brand!! Their loss!!

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    April 19, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    ESPN is run by liberal Democrats so quotas and political correctness is more important than truth or profits. This is how they hire sportscasters and how they made the decision to put the women's game ahead of the men's.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    April 19, 2013 6:03 a.m.

    WAC (USU) Paddled My Utes

    "The Pac Network is in its first season"

    Your network was summarily shunned by Direct TV and most cable networks east of Colorado. That's some 'nationwide' network.

    What's even funnier is that some cable networks in Utah didn't pick it up. LOL

  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    April 19, 2013 1:37 a.m.

    Despite the great efforts of Political Correctness to tell us that men and women are the same as well as all races and nationalities, woman's basketball just doesn't have the draw that the men's has. I've heard the argument that woman's basketball is "purer" because there is more teamwork and less "One Man Show" or less one on one. Regardless or Irregardless for those in Springville, the two brands of basketball are as different as night and day, people vote with their feet filling the arena for the men's game while the woman's fans come in disguise as empty seats. I do resent the efforts made to push it in the face of the fan in what might be described as a genuine belief that "If you just see it, you'll love it" .

  • WACPaddingOurSchedule pocatello, ID
    April 18, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    Gone fishin
    Murray, UT
    Who even watches the PAC network anyway? I don't even know where to find it. SO much for being in a so-called elite conference when noone can watch the games.

    Tell us how TV exposure has worked out for BYU against ranked teams the past few years.

    How typical. It's bad enough that some BYU fans have unrealistic expectations and wishes about Coug sports.
    The Pac network is in its first season.

    I see Notre Dame just signed a new contract with NBC. Keep riding those coattails! I guess they are not exactly independent now with a semi agreement with the ACC in football. But at least you have your new band of buddies with Idaho and New Mexico St.

  • agarrett PROVO, UT
    April 18, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    @Go Utes
    Too bad the Utes couldn't make it on to Root Sports. Hows that PAC 12 network working for ya? Why don't you ask the Mountain West Conf. how their experience went?

  • james d. morrison Boise, CA
    April 18, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    If they would have put the women's game on ESPN2, there would have been cries of sexism. They had to put it on the main channel to avoid flack. Plus, the other game was NIT, and no one cares about that except for fans of the teams.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    April 18, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    The reason BYU was on ESPN for the first round game is because the NIT early round games start before the NCAA tournament does. By the NIT final four, the NCAA games are the dominant factor. So it's not so much that BYU was getting hosed, as ESPN wants ratings, it's that the NIT is an afterthought relative to the 'Big Dance'. BYU does provide ratings so ESPN for all their faults isn't that clueless. As for that 'Big Dance', it's going to be unfortunately bigger (98 teams) shortly. I say that because although I favor a playoff (note to BCS elitists), I still don't want a playoff with all of planet earth involved to render the regular season nearly pointless.

  • hobbes1012003 Kaysville, UT
    April 18, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    @Ute Miguel

    So if the NCAA tourney is the real one and the NIT is only a pretend Tourney, what does that say about Ute Bball program, that they couldn't even get to the NIT? UTES FANS: you are allowed to talk smack when your team is actually relevant, has a winning record, and makes the post season.

    End of story.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    "BYU NIT ratings show ESPN and ESPN2 are not equal." So, the premise of this article is that more people would have watched a semi-final game in a second rate tournament if it was carried on ESPN instead of ESPN2. Presto, the byu fan base feels that they were jilted by the hand that feeds them. Maybe, just maybe, sports viewers don't care that much about byu and would rather watch the women play. Now, there's an angle for a story and that premise is no less valid this story. Once again, the byu media finds a way to blame someone else for disappointing results.

  • Gone fishin Murray, UT
    April 18, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    Who even watches the PAC network anyway? I don't even know where to find it. SO much for being in a so-called elite conference when noone can watch the games.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 18, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    Go Utes!--the Cougs were not hosed, but the utes got soaked.

  • indycrimson Franklin, IN
    April 18, 2013 3:56 p.m.

    WCC Mens basketball????
    Womens basketball???

    Hhhhmmmm...what should I watch??? Hhmmmm....tough one, I'll get back to you tomorrow...

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    Whatever it was probably exceeded those watching the ute post-season tourney.

  • altahoops Provo, UT
    April 18, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    "Women's basketball is a joke, I wouldn't waste five minutes watching women's basketball." you've never watched the women's game and wouldn't devote 5 minutes to doing so, yet you offer your expert opinion that it is a "joke"? Very sound reasoning.

    I challenge you to give it a try sometime. It might change your mind. You'll come to realize that even though the game differs in obvious ways, the level of effort, dedication, pulling together for a common goal, and love of the game are every bit as real as in the men's game. I love the game of basketball. My respect goes to anyone who laces them up and steps onto the court to compete.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 18, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    We still get $6,000,000 to $8,000,000 per game everytime we're on ESPN or ESPN 2, can't change those facts.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    April 18, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    I really don't care if 1.7 million watch the game or 1.0 million watch the game. I only care if 1 person can get the game, and that's me. I also care about whether it's in HD. I can watch most of the football, basketball and volleyball games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or BYUtv.

    I'm so happy we're not on The MTN anymore. I'm also glad we're not on the PAC Network. I give it a couple of years before it folds.

    ESPN is only contracted to carry 3 BYU home football games per year, but can carry up to five. ESPN has picked up 5 games in BYU's first two years of Indy. The only reason ESPN does this is because people are watching. ESPN wouldn't cover the games if nobody was watching.

  • SolarMan Albuquerque, NM
    April 18, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    ESPN may be better than ESPN2, but nothing compares to free, network TV. I "fired" DirecTV a few years ago and don't miss it. Aside from ESPN, there was very little (if anything) worth watching. Now, I OCCASIONALLY stream BYU TV and watch network TV. Most of my annual TV viewing is LDS General Conference (16 hrs/year) and Sunday Night Football (about 10 hrs/year). BYU Football would be higher, but very few live games are on BYU TV when I can watch them.

    Bottom line: I might subscribe to ESPN for $10/month, but I don't want any of the other garbage in the packages. Without an a la carte option, I opt to not buy anything.

  • Gone fishin Murray, UT
    April 18, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    Please show me in the article where BYU and the fans are expecting more air time. Me thin yu read too much into story. Also, how can you guarantee that schools other than BYU would have made it on ESPN? You must have a crytal ball! Typical Utah fan, spouting untuths and speclation. Please tell me how many people saw Utah play in the post season?

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    April 18, 2013 1:14 p.m.

    Fails to mention you are comparing a women's real championship tournament (NCAA) to a men's pretend championship tourney (NIT). This explains why ESPN picked the women's game.

  • Clloyd Kaysville, UT
    April 18, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    Dumb article. Just wasted 5 minutes of my day

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    April 18, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    RE: Chris B. "the Notre Dame v. Duke women’s game drew 1.2 million households – about the same number as the WCC Conference Men’s Tournament final." LOL, need I say more?

    We all know that you will indeed "say more" so I'd love to hear your take on the average viewership of the PAC 12 (783k in 2012) or how about we look at common opponents that faced BYU and the U this season... Utah vs. Washington: 171k, BYU vs. Washington: 1.1m.

    Lol, need I say more?

  • Robroy Murray, utah
    April 18, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    And since the utes are not in any tournament they rarely appear on the mighty pac12 network or any other network for that matter. Need I say more?

  • AntelopeValleyUte Palmdale, CA
    April 18, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    what it comes down to is, while BYU and its fans want the TV exposure and pride itself of a mostly Mormon national following and think BYU is worthy of it, ESPN and its affiliates don't think so. If the two teams in the NIT were Baylor and another BIG name basketball team (examples UCLA, Georgetown, Duke, Michigan St, Florida, Arizona, Syracuse, Cinn, Pitt, Indiana), you can guarantee they will be televised on ESPN. Other than BYU's football team, ESPN (IMO) still doesn't have much respect for BYU's other sports in the same light and still treats it as if they were still playing in the WAC or Mountain West. This hold true the same for Utah, even though it has the PAC-12, ESPN, ABC, and FOX networks, until Utah can field a quality teams with winning records consistently in any of its sports, TV exposure will be sporadic or limited at best.

  • BSC Midvale, UT
    April 18, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    I found it interesting that the Pac 12 conference champtionship game also drew a 1.2 rating.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    April 18, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Reading Comprehension 101

    The point of the article is that more viewers automatically go to ESPN ("The Mothership") and that other games on their other channels (ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPNU) even though better matchups, will likely not beat the ratings of a supposedly inferior product. This is regardless of the teams playing.

    So, the encouraging part for a BYU fan is that their matchup against Baylor had 44 percent more viewership than any other NIT matchup on the same channel. And, the emphasis is the need for BYU to leverage their ESPN partnership to get on ESPN more...not the subchannels.

    Amazing how trolls twist ANY information to fit their narrow worldview.

  • carver Enterprise, UT
    April 18, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    It's as simple as this. ESPN would rather tickle the ears of 50 Notre Dame-Duke fans as 500 BYU- Baylor fans. It's all about being east of the Mississippi river baby!

  • rph Arlington, VA
    April 18, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    Dear Ryan Teeples,

    Please look up the meaning of "begs the question." You are using it incorrectly.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    April 18, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    A lot of cable companies carry the Mothership (ESPN) but not the little sisters (ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews). However, the point needs to be made that even ESPN2 reaches a lot more households than the PAC12 network.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    Ryan Teeples, BYU begs for exposure, but then complains when they get it. First, KSL broadcasts weren't enough, then ESPN odd day / time games, then the debacle of the MTN, and now complaining about ESPN2 not being 'enough' eyeballs.

    How about thinking things through on the next network agreement? Specify that you want X number of ESPN flagship games, at prime start times, and a limited number of other ESPN networks.

    It won't happen, because ESPN would end the business lunch right there, and give the money to the next school in a heartbeat.

    Be happy with what the Y has, since this deal is for several more years.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    April 18, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    RE: dumprake, RS

    Wow... just wow. But at least you're being honest. When I lived in Connecticut (about ten years ago) UCONN women's basketball was as big or bigger than men's, even when the men won the national championship. Why? Because women's basketball is very different from men's. Instead of showcasing individual talent (a la Kentucky), the women's game is all about teamwork and fundamentals. If you crave dunks and individual accomplishments stick to men's basketball, otherwise there is a lot of good and entertaining basketball to be seen in women's ball.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    April 18, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    Re dumprake : All men's basketball is a joke at the college and pro levels IMVHO. No better or less scripted than the WWE. The women's game has a much more honest and sincere feel to it.

  • dden45 Provo, Utah
    April 18, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    @Go Utes!

    Well, we couldn't very well compare the Utes playing on ESPN vs. ESPN 2 now could could we.

  • RS Holladay, UT
    April 18, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    I would watch women's basketball....if my grandaugter was playing in the game.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    April 18, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    Women's basketball is a joke, I wouldn't waste five minutes watching women's basketball. Now, women's volleyball? yes, I would watch that, they are good at it, it's entertaining, but women's basketball is silly, awful basketball.

  • Go Utes! Springville, UT
    April 18, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    I am sorry BYU didn't make it on ESPN.
    that was the point of this article right? Feel sorry for BYU, they got hosed.