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Cinderellas reign in Final Four ratings
Date:7/25/2013

for casual fans decreases as a result, but that Cinderella's provide them the motivation to tune in and root for the little guy."

The data included 24 teams and the viewership from 56 major television markets. Although powerhouse schools like UCLA, Florida and Syracuse might hail from the largest TV markets, audiences tune in more to root for Butler, VCU, George Mason and other Cinderella teams that have won their way into the Final Four over the past decade.

Previous research using National Football League and European Premier League soccer data found three main reasons fans tune in: big-market teams, big-name stars and closely contested matches. Only the last of those three factors held up when it comes to the NCAA Tournament.

"Our paper was myth-busting to a certain degree because two of those three assumptions are wrong in college basketball," said Grimshaw. "The top 10 teams in terms of national importance had no national effect on TV ratings, though they all had a strong local following."

The statistical model built by Grimshaw, Sabin and BYU Broadcasting Director of Marketing Keith Willes allows for audience size prediction in different TV markets. This information could allow CBS to strategically target their advertising regionally.

"CBS didn't pay $10.8 billion to acquire the rights to the NCAA basketball tournament because they love sports, they did it to make money," said Grimshaw.


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Contact: Joe Hadfield
joe_hadfield@byu.edu
801-422-9206
Brigham Young University
Source:Eurekalert

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