April 4, 2017

SKEDBALL: March Madness Ratings through Championship

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Updated ratings for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament through Championship Monday of March Madness. One game has been added to the CBS average. CBS averaged almost 8.4 million viewers 2+ for its 24 games this year, up a big +39% from last year and up +15% from the 2012-2016 average, as the Final Four and Championship game returned to broadcast TV.  All 67 games of this year’s tournament (across four channels) averaged 15.1 million viewers 2+ per game, up +14% from last year’s lackluster performance and up +5% from the 2012-16 average.

NCAA March Madness P2+ Averages 2017 thru Game 67


In the sports sales demographic of men 18-49, the 2017 tournament is +9% above last year but -7% below the 2012-2016 average.

NCAA March Madness M18-49 Averages 2017 thru Game 67


Game detail below for the Championship game of March Madness between 2012-2017 (game 67 of the tournament).  In 2016, the championship game was broadcast on three Turner networks (the main broadcast on TBS and the same game with team announcers on TNT and TruTV). The combined audience for the three broadcasts is in bold. The 2017 Championship game on CBS averaged 23 million viewers 2+, below the previous CBS Championship (28.3 million viewers 2+ in 2015) but still a recovery from last year’s fumble on the Turner networks (17.8 million viewers 2+ across TBS, TNT and Tru). In both P2+ and 18-49 audience, the 2017 Championship ratings are very much in line with 2012-2014.

NCAA March Madness Game Detail 2012 to 2017 Game 67



About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.