Kudos to ESPN for raising the psycho behavior of Rutgers University hoops coach Mike Rice, who was fired today as a result of the sports network’s report. Though I am a huge pro sports fan, watching Rice’s abusive behavior toward his young student athletes makes me glad I made a conscious decision years ago not to follow NCAA sports. I just couldn’t wrap my arms around the notion that while everybody associated with big college sports is making fortunes — from networks like CBS and ESPN, to broadcasters to coaches, and everyone in between — student athletes make this big business possible and only get scholarships that are paltry compensation compared to the proceeds their efforts generate. 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 »
The 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship through Saturday’s contests garnered the highest ratings for March Madness in 18 years, according to Multichannel News. The series has averaged a 5.3 household rating across TBS, CBS, TNT and TruTV through March 17 — up 4% from a 5.1 in 2011 and a 15% bump over over a 4.6 rating in 2010, according to Nielsen fast nationals. Games averaged 8 million viewers, up 3% from last year’s 7.8 million viewers at the same time in the tournament and 14% ahead of the 7 million viewers during the comparable 2010 period. St. Patrick’s Day delivered a surge in viewership giving the four networks the highest-rated and most watched Saturday since 2007. Saturday’s game ratings averaged a 6.1, 3% over last year’s 5.9 and 13% above the 5.4 mark in 2010. The 9.3 million viewer average matched last year and was 11% more than the 8.4 million viewers in 2010. Friday’s games generated record numbers for the four networks with a 5.4 household rating and 8 million viewers — the most-watched Friday since the event expanded to four telecast windows in 1991. Those deliveries were up 8% compared with a 5.0 rating in 2011 and 29% versus 2010′s 4.2 rating. Turner and CBS are in the second of a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal whereby the four networks air each of the tourney’s 67 games in a national window. Coverage previously … Read More »