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 same games and up +2% from the 2012-2016 average. These numbers include two prime time games on CBS Thursday (the two afternoon CBS game ratings will be available Monday), four Thursday games each on TNT and TBS, and eight games on TruTV (four play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday and four Thursday games). Although TBS coverage is down versus recent years, the other three networks are experiencing big increases, especially versus last year. In a season that has seen declines in most dayparts and programming genres, this is a very encouraging start.
In the male 18-49 demographic on which most sports advertising is sold, the March Madness games to date are scoring a 3.78 M18-49 rating live+same day in an average minute across the four networks, down a small -2% from last year but down a more significant -16% from the 2012-2016 average. The television audience continues to age, but these are still sizable audiences in a hard to reach demographic segment. TNT coverage to date is up significantly this year with M18-49, while CBS and TruTV are up more moderately versus last year. TBS is the big decliner this year, although some of these differences might even out in the coming days depending on game match-ups.
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 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…
SKEDBALL: March Madness 2016 through Thursday 3.24
Updated March Madness through the first night of the Sweet 16 round and with the CBS afternoon games from last Thursday-Sunday. Both CBS and TBS now down a few percentage point from the last few years in total viewers, with TNT and TRUtv down double-digit percentages. The tournament audience across…
SKEDBALL: March Madness TV Ratings through First Sunday
During the NCAA Basketball Tournament’s Round of 32 Saturday and Sunday, almost every game on each network was in line with ratings for the same games the past few years. (We do not have result from the CBS games in the afternoon yet — those ratings will arrive Thursday along…