CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV scored the highest rating for the opening Thursday since the tourney expanded to four telecast windows for the entire day in 1991. Yesterday’s games averaged a 6.0/14 overnight rating/share, up 3% from a 5.8/14 in 2013, according to Nielsen metered-market ratings. The overall tournament average rating, including the NCAA First Four play-in games, stands at 5.6/12 — up 8% from 5.2/12 last year – which is also the highest rating at this point in the tourney since ’91. Thursday’s coverage, which made NCAA Tournament history with four overtime games in a day — not to mention some big-time upsets — boasted ratings growth across its telecast windows. The total-day numbers are some solace to CBS, whose primetime tourney ratings were down 31% last night compared with 2013 in non-time-zone-adjusted fast nationals.
David Berson has been promoted to President of CBS Sports. He will continue to report to CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus and will be involved in all aspects of CBS Sports’ day-to-day management and will also continue to lead CBS Sports Network. Berson joined CBS Sports in 2011 as EVP, CBS Sports and President, CBS Sports Network. “David’s contributions and expertise in all areas of our business, including programming, production and business affairs, have managed to exceed our high expectations since he joined CBS Sports,” said McManus. “This is a natural evolution for David to assume additional responsibilities at CBS Sports, working alongside me on the day-to-day management of both CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.”
CBS Sports and Turner Sports scored last night. Their first-round coverage of the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged an overnight household rating/share of 5.8/14. That’s the highest first Thursday ratings of the tournament since 1991. It is also up 4% compared with the 5.6/13 that the tournament received on the comparable night of March 15th last year. This is the third year CBS and Turner are showing all 67 March Madness games across four networks. The first primetime slot (7-10:15 PM), which saw South Dakota State vs. Michigan on CBS, averaged a 7.4/14 to register the highest rating ever for the time slot and was up 9% over the 6.8/13 the first primetime game of the night got in 2012. The second primetime slot of the night (9:30 PM – 12:45 AM) averaged a 6.4/11, down from the 6.8/12 of 2012, but featured two blowouts: Virginia Commonwealth thrashing Akron by 46 points on CBS and Syracuse slamming Montana by 47 on TNT. So far, this year’s March Madness, which began Tuesday with the NCAA First Four, is averaging a 5.2/12, up 2% compared with a 5.1/12 at the same time last year.
This year’s March Madness will have a lot more eyeballs in play. Millions more, according to CBS Sports and Turner Sports execs who boast that the NCAA College Basketball Championships will be available to more viewers on more devices plus a larger TV Everywhere Universe, Multichannel.com reports. CBS and Turner also are confident that consumers’ increased familiarity with authentication process will expand the overall audience for the tourney. NCAA March Madness gets underway Tuesday following today’s announcement of the 68-team field on CBS’ NCAA Baskeball Championship Selection Show. The Turner-produced NCAA March Madness live will offer free streaming of the 67 games comprising the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tournament across scads of online, mobile and tablet devices to pay TV subscribers. With social and interactive components, it will launch from ncaa.com/marchmadness, CBSSports.com and www.bleacherreport.com, along with Google Play and Apple’s App Store. The games beging with TruTV’s coverage of the First Four on March 19 and 20 and concludes with the national championship game in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome on April 8.
James Brown has been named Special Correspondent for CBS News, it was announced today by CBS News Chairman and 60 MINUTES Executive Producer Jeff Fager and David Rhodes, President, CBS News. Brown will contribute original reported pieces and will appear on various CBS News broadcasts.
Brown begins his assignment this Saturday, March 3, on CBS THIS MORNING: SATURDAY. Brown continues in his current role as host of THE NFL TODAY, CBS Sports’ NFL pre-game studio show.
“James Brown is among the very best in our business,” said Fager. “He is a fixture at CBS Sports and will be a great addition to CBS News because of his abilities, and because he also happens to be a great human being.”
“Audiences know JB as the face of THE NFL TODAY and other sports broadcasts — what they may not know is his curiosity about the news,” said Rhodes. “His wide-ranging interests from sports to faith to community service will be great assets to CBS News and to our viewers.”
David Berson has been named EVP, CBS Sports and President of CBS College Sports. He will be involved in all aspects of CBS Sports’ operations and will run the day-to-day operations of CBS College Sports Network, reporting to Sean McManus, President of CBS News and Sports. Berson comes from ESPN where he spent 16 years, most recently as EVP programming planning and strategy, co-running the top sports TV network’s programming department. Steve Herbst, who has served as EVP and General Manager of CBS College Sports Network, will be leaving his post at the end of the year.