March 20, 2017

SKEDBALL: March Madness TV Ratings through First Friday

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Through Friday, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is averaging almost 8.5 million persons 2+ live+same day on CBS and three Turner networks (TNT, TBS and TruTV), now even with last year as well as the 2012-2016 average.  2015 remains the recent high with 8.9 million viewers 2+ in an average minute on the four networks, according to Nielsen ratings.  These averages include 34 of the 36 games played through Friday: six games on CBS (four Thursday games and two prime time games on Friday, with the two Friday daytime games on CBS available tomorrow), eight games each on TNT and TBS (four games on each network Thursday and Friday) and 12 games on TruTV (four play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday and four games each on Thursday and Friday). Versus last year, TruTV and TNT are up this year, while CBS is down moderately and TBS is down -9%.

NCAA March Madness P2+ 2012-2017 thru 36 excl 21-22

In the male 18-49 sports sales demographic, the games on the four networks are combining for a 3.57 M18-49 live+same day rating in an average minute through Friday, down -8% from last year and down -15% from the 2012-2016. Young men are probably the most likely to shift viewing to mobile devices, which are not part of these television ratings.

NCAA March Madness M18-49 2012-2017 thru 36 excl 21-22

Game detail below for opening rounds in 2017 (play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday March 14-15 and Round of 64 games Thursday and Friday March 16-17).

NCAA March Madness Game Detail Opening Rounds Games 1-36 2017


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.