Arkansas State Strong on Television

The 2013 regular season TV ratings are almost done with just this weekend's games remaining but the numbers for the Sun Belt are complete. The Petrino storyline was apparently not as compelling to TV viewers as many expected.

Looking solely at games between Sun Belt teams that drew a national ranking we have six games to look at. Two Tuesday night ESPN2 games and four Thursday night ESPNU games. Games involving Arkansas State were the most watched Sun Belt games on each network.

Sun Belt on ESPN2.
UL Lafayette at Western Kentucky drew an audience of 456,000 viewers.
Louisiana at Arkansas State drew an audience of 767,000 viewers.

The ESPNU games face more competition and ESPNU is available in fewer homes. That impacts the draw, but AState again led the way among Sun Belt schools.

Sun Belt on ESPNU
Troy at Arkansas State was seen by 137,000 viewers.
Troy at Louisiana 101,000 viewers.
WKU at ULM 81,000 viewers
ULM at Troy 73,000 viewers

The Arkansas State – Louisiana game was the second most watched Tuesday night game behind then #14 NIU's regular season finale.

Other ESPN2 Tuesday night games.
Western Michigan at Northern Illinois 881,000 viewers
Ohio at Buffalo 559,000 viewers
Kent State at Ohio 435,000 viewers

Troy at Arkansas State was the third most watched ESPNU Thursday night game.

Other Thursday night ESPNU games.
Rutgers at Fresno State 241,000
Tulsa at Bowling Green State 199,000
UNLV at New Mexico 117,000

The real "beast" of weeknight games though was Northern Illinois on Wednesday nights.

Wednesday Nights (all games on ESPN2 except those noted with (U) were on ESPNU)
NIU at Toledo 1,050,000
Ball State at NIU 1,040,0000
Central Michigan at Ball State 592,000
Cincinnati at Memphis 437,000
Miami OH at Kent State (U) 147,000

There has been a lot of speculation about the reach of Fox's FS1. Here are the weeknight numbers for FS1 games not involving the Power 5 conferences. All the FS1 games not involving a P5 were CUSA games.

Arkansas State vs. Louisiana on ESPN2 outdrew all regular season CUSA weeknight games and was the fourth most-watched weeknight game not involving the so-called power conferences.
FAU at ECU 181,000
Marshall at Tulsa 155,000
Tulane at Louisiana Tech 124,000 (was head-to-head vs. ASU-Troy on ESPNU)
Rice at UNT 108,000
Marshall at MTSU 91,000
Rice at UAB 79,000