Las Vegas hosted the two highest-rated non-NFL events on TV last weekend, according to Nielsen’s overnight ratings.
As first reported by the Sports Business Journal, Saturday’s Las Vegas Bowl — San Diego State’s 34-10 victory over Houston — drew a 2.6 rating on ABC. That’s a four-year high for the bowl and an increase from the 2.5 rating it reached with last year’s Utah-Brigham Young matchup.
It was the most watched Las Vegas Bowl since Boise State and Washington played in 2012, drawing a 2.9 rating.
Running simultaneously on CBS, Kentucky’s 103-100 victory over North Carolina pulled in a 2.4 rating as part of Saturday’s CBS Sports Classic doubleheader at T-Mobile Arena. It was the network’s best regular-season college basketball rating since Michigan State played Purdue in March in the Big Ten tournament championship game.
The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, in which UCLA defeated Ohio State, drew a 1.3 rating.
Before the Kentucky-North Carolina game, the high-rated college basketball game this season was ESPN’s 1.6 for Duke-Kansas on Nov. 15.
For perspective, two NFL pregame shows drew at least a 2.9 rating, and the lowest-rated NFL game drew an 11.0 last weekend.
Each rating point equals 1 percent, or 1.164 million homes.
Sports editor Bill Bradley can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @billbradleyLV on Twitter.
The five highest-rated non-NFL events on TV last weekend, according to Nielsen’s overnight ratings:
1. Las Vegas Bowl: Houston vs. San Diego State, 2.6
2. CBS Sports Classic: Kentucky vs. North Carolina, 2.4
3. Celebration Bowl: Grambling vs. North Carolina Central, 2.0
4. UFC on Fox 22, 1.9
5. CBS Sports Classic: Ohio State vs. UCLA, 1.3