March Madness: Viewership Rises For “First Four” on TruTV


The NCAA Tournament “First Four” had increased viewership on TruTV, but the numbers were still less-than-impressive.

Each game of the “First Four” had an increase in viewership over last year, with Wednesday’s games both up double-digits. In particular, the LaSalle/Boise State game drew 1.2 million viewers on TruTV — up 15% from South Florida/California last year (1.1M), but down 1% from Virginia Commonwealth/Southern Cal in 2011 (1.3M).

The earlier LIU-Brooklyn/James Madison game earned 1.0 million, up 32% from Vermont/Lamar last year (764K), and up 29% from Texas-San Antonio/Alabama State in 2011 (786K).

The increases were much smaller on Tuesday night. The St. Mary’s/Middle Tennessee game earned 1.2 million viewers, up 6% from Iona/BYU last year (1.1M), but down 12% from Clemson/UAB in 2011 (1.4M). Earlier in the night, North Carolina A&T/Liberty scored 1.0 million — up 6% from Mississippi Valley State/Western Kentucky last year (977K), but down 13% from UNC-Asheville/Arkansas-Little Rock in 2011 (1.2M).

None of the “First Four” telecasts was able to match Tuesday’s Robert Morris/Kentucky NIT game on ESPN (1.6M).

Viewership For the “First Four”

Since current format began in 2011


(Tue./Wed. numbers from The Futon Critic [1], [2])