The 2002 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four set television viewership records for households and estimated viewers.
The April 6 championship game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, a 4-3 overtime victory by Minnesota over Maine, was watched by 899,000 households and approximately 2.3 million viewers on ESPN. The previous bests were set in 1998, when 731,000 households and nearly 1.9 million viewers watched Michigan defeate Boston College, 3-2, in overtime at the Fleet Center in Boston.
The championship game also tied a record with a 1.0 cable rating, which was also reached in the Michigan versus Boston College game in 1998, and the 1989 final when Harvard defeated Minnesota, 4-3, in overtime.
In addition, the 2002 championship game will air as an “Instant Classic” April 13, on ESPN Classic from 7-9 p.m. Eastern time.
The 2002 Frozen Four also set viewership records for the combined three games. The two April 4 semifinal games on ESPN2 were watched by 370,000 households and 954,600 viewers, giving the Frozen Four a three-game total of 1,269,000 households and approximately 3,274,020 viewers.
The previous records for the three-game television viewer totals were set in 1998, when 1,148,000 households and 2,961,840 people watched the Frozen Four.