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NCAA Tournament Viewership Up

Last Updated on March 26, 2013

From IMG College

The NCAA Tournament is off to its best start in viewership in 23 years.  A highly entertaining mix of marquee names, scrappy underdogs, the overlooked, and the schools no one saw coming is bringing a 6.3 average rating to the tournament – the most viewers since the event expanded to its current format.

On Sunday, across all networks (CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV), NCAA Tournament coverage averaged a very strong 7.6 overnight – the best average for the first Sunday of the tourney since ’93.  Highlights as reported by Sports Business Daily:

  • Kansas’ win over North Carolina on CBS led all weekend games with a 7.3 overnight Nielsen rating (+14% from comparable 2012 game)
  • Indiana’s win over Temple earned a 7.2 overnight (+20%)
  • Ohio State’s last-second win over Iowa State earned a 5.4 overnight in the early Sunday CBS window (+26%).
  • Florida Gulf Coast’s win over San Diego State earned a 2.8 overnight on TBS – the top-rated cable game of the weekend.

Each of the day parts across all four CBS/Turner networks showed a gain in viewers. Of note:.

  • The first daytime window (12:00-2:45pm) drew it highest rating since ’02.
  • The first primetime window (5:15-9:15pm) had its highest rating since ’91.

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