Even without the Louisville Cardinals playing in the NCAA Tournament, WLKY-TV annually pulls the biggest ratings among CBS affiliates nationally for the event. But with the Cards playing, and with Western Kentucky playing in prime time on Thursday and Saturday nights, the ratings numbers were eye-opening.
Maybe the numbers were a big part of the reason the top brass at CBS admitted publicly that they shouldn’t have taken local viewers away from the Louisville game in the final minutes Sunday. WLKY GM Glenn Haygood extracted a promise from CBS in New York that it will never happen again. He says he was promised before the game, too, that it wouldn’t happen. Ultimately, the local station is at the mercy of the network.
Here are the numbers for the biggest games over the weekend. The Cards’ game on Friday, an uninteresting romp over Morehead State, pulled a 27.8 rating and 46 share. On Saturday, for Western’s exciting, down-to-the-wire loss to Gonzaga, WLKY had a 22.1 rating and 36 share.
Western’s win over Illinois, played late Thursday, peaked at 21.5/36.
The Cards’ game with Siena on Sunday got a 33.4/54.
You can bet that more than half the TVs in the market will be tuned in when the Cards continue their run against Arizona Friday. The game starts at 7.