Completing a rather soft run in the ratings for the NCAA Tournament, Monday’s championship game between blue bloods Kentucky and Kansas was down nearly double-digits from last year’s Connecticut/Butler clunker.
The 2012 NCAA Tournament National Championship Game, won by Kentucky over Kansas, drew a 12.1 overnight rating on CBS Monday night — down 9% from Connecticut/Butler last year (13.3), and down 24% from Duke/Butler in 2010 (16.0).
The 12.1 overnight is the fourth-lowest ever for the NCAA Tournament National Championship Game, ahead of only 2004 (CONN/GT: 11.2), 2006 (FLA/UCLA: 11.7), and 2009 (UNC/MSU: 11.9).
The low numbers are especially surprising considering the high-profile teams involved and the fact that the game was relatively close at the end. Last year’s game featured mid-major Butler and frankly ugly offense.
For some perspective, Monday’s game barely outdrew last season’s LSU/Alabama college football game — not the BCS National Championship Game on ESPN (13.8), but the teams’ regular season matchup on CBS (11.9).
With that said, Monday’s game drew a higher overnight than four of the five 2012 Bowl Championship Series telecasts on ESPN, including the Rose Bowl (9.9), five of the seven games of the 2011 World Series, four of the six games of the 2011 NBA Finals, and other marquee events such as the 2012 Daytona 500 (8.0), the final round of the 2011 Masters golf tournament (10.4), and the race portion of the 2011 Kentucky Derby (9.7).
Louisville (KY) led all markets with a whopping 51.1 local rating. Kansas City was the second-highest rated market, with a 39.2.
(Monday’s overnight from USA Today)