ACC markets decline slightly, remain strong nationally

There are a lot of reasons why the ACC decided to extend an invitation to the University of Louisville in 2012, and one of the biggest was the television market the Cardinals could bring to the league. With three of the nation’s more popular and successful programs in U of L, Kentucky and Indiana within the Louisville television market, the region takes its college basketball as seriously as anywhere.

Going back to 2003, the Louisville market has emerged No. 1 in ESPN’s college basketball ratings every single year, which unquestionably played a huge role when it came time for the ACC to add one more school to balance itself out following Maryland’s sudden exit.

The convergence of three conferences — the ACC, Big Ten and the SEC — helps the situation for the Louisville market, as fans around the region are interested in what’s happening in games covering the entire eastern half of the United States.

On March 8, ESPN announced that Louisville averaged…