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Main Event ratings drop
More than 2.1 million Americans watched 21-year-old Joe Cada become the Youngest World Series of Poker Main Event winner in history Tuesday.
However, the numbers were down slightly from the 2.36 million viewers who watched 22-year-old Peter Eastgate set the same record in 2008.
In the days prior to the taping, ESPN officials predicted ratings would go up considering the presence of one of the game's best players, Phil Ivey, and a major increase in Main Event coverage on the network leading up to the final.
Instead, the ESPN telecast's 1.8 household coverage rating, meaning the show was on in an average of 1,806,113 households this year, was down slightly from the 1.9 rating earned for the 2008 final table.
But despite the small dip, it appears the four-month final table delay continued to draw interest.
The numbers remained up from the 1.3 rating and 1.55 million viewers the final table received in 2008.
ESPN's total 15-week schedule of WSOP coverage, including 31 telecasts, broke even with last year, averaging a 1.0 rating.
However, the network's plan to broadcast more Main Event coverage than ever before appears to have helped increase averages for households up 9% to 1,024,901 and viewership up 7% to 1,228,008.
Plus, there was a 13% jump in viewership in the Male 25-54 demographic, poker's target market.