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%.
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.
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).
SKEDBALL: March Madness TV Ratings
Through Thursday, coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on CBS and the Turner networks (TNT, TBS and TruTV) is averaging almost 9.2 million viewers 2+ live+same day across the four networks in an average minute. That is up +9% from last year’s recent low of 8.4 million for the…
SKEDBALL: March Madness TV Ratings through the First Thursday
CBS had a terrific start to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with its two late games Thursday, right around 5.5 million viewers ages 2+. These audience levels are among the best ratings for this day in recent years: the 7:00 pm game on CBS (#8-Cincinnati beating #9-Purdue 66-65 in OT…
SKEDBALL: March Madness 2016 through Friday 3.18
Through Friday (the second and final day of the Round of 64), the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament turned positive for CBS versus the past three years (up +10% in total viewers 2+ and up +7% with persons 18-49), joining TBS with upward arrows (and green shading) in the chart below.…
SKEDBALL: March Madness Ratings Overview
After the “First Four” play-in games, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament really gets going on Thursday with the traditional 64-team format. The chart below illustrates the build in TV audiences as March Madness 2014 rolled out. Each bar represents one of 67 telecasts in the playoff format, from the “First…