“Last year was a significant year of growth for us for a lot of reasons,” Colborne said. “One was the increased coverage we have year over year. We had a fantastic story in Kyle Dake and the Dake-Taylor matchup, which was tailor-made for ratings success. ... We want to look to continue to be aggressive and build off that momentum.”
The past four years, the most ESPN3 covered was four simultaneous matches. This year, all eight matches will be available, and PC viewers can watch up to four at one time. Each match will have a separate reporter. Digital ratings on ESPN3 and WatchESPN were up 12 percent from last year, with 12.68 million live minutes.
For the first time, ESPNU will cover the first and second sessions, and the semifinals Friday night will shift from ESPNU to ESPN for increased exposure.
ESPN3 also will provide ancillary coverage of the championship round. Colborne said ESPN3 is still deciding what it will offer, possibly different commentators from the TV coverage or a behind-the-scene look. The coverage will continue through ESPN commercial breaks.
“We are really trying to hone in on that over the next couple of weeks,” Colborne said.