UPDATE, 10:55 AM: With 10.7 million viewers on average, this year’s NCAA Tournament is the most watched since 1994, when it pulled in 11.2 million. The games on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV this year were up 11% from the average 2012 audience of 9.6 million, according to Nielsen. Monday’s national championship game on CBS pitting Louisville against Michigan rose 12% in viewership to an average of 23.4 million, up from from 2012′s 20.9 million.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:02 AM: CBS scored last night with the NCAA Tournament championship game. The primetime matchup between victorious Louisville and Michigan pulled in an average overnight household rating/share of 14.23, according to Nielsen. That’s up 18% over the 12.1/19 last year’s game between Kentucky and Kansas. The ratings for Monday’s title game hit a peak from 11:30-11:45 PM ET with a 17.3/32 rating. Overall, CBS and Turner Sports’ multi-channel broadcasts of this year’s tournament drew a 7.2/19 average-to-date rating in metered markets. That’s up 9% from last year’s tournament and tied with 2011’s rating for the highest numbers since 2005 (7.3/14). Read More »
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. Read More »