March Madness: TV Ratings Still Up Entering Title Game

Posted by | April 7, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Entering Monday’s National Championship Game, the 2013 NCAA Tournament remains ahead of last year’s pace.

CBS and Turner Sports have averaged a combined 6.4 rating and 10.2 million viewers for coverage of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, up 8% in ratings and 10% in viewership from last year (5.9, 9.2M), and up 3% in both measures from 2011 (6.2, 9.9M). The 2013 tournament ranks as the highest rated and most-viewed through the national semifinals since 2005 (6.6, 10.2M).

On Saturday, the Syracuse/Michigan game drew a 10.2 rating and 17.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen-fast nationals — up 6% in ratings and 3% in viewership from Kansas/Ohio State last year (9.6, 16.6M), and up 7% and 3%, respectively, from Connecticut/Kentucky in 2011 (9.5, 16.7M).

Excluding the national championship game, Syracuse/Michigan ranks as the highest rated and most-viewed Final Four game since North Carolina/Michigan State in 2005 (10.9, 17.5M).

The early Wichita State/Louisville game earned an 8.7 and 14.5 million viewers, up 4% in ratings and viewership from Kentucky/Louisville last year (8.4, 13.9M), and up 5% and 2%, respectively, from Butler/VCU in 2011 (8.3, 14.2M).

Most-Viewed Games of the 2013 NCAA Tournament

Through Saturday’s games
Date Time Winner Loser Round Net
Rating
Viewers
Sat., 4/6/13 8:49 PM Michigan Syracuse Final Four CBS
10.2
17.1M
Sun., 3/31/13 4:55 PM Louisville Duke Elite Eight CBS
8.8
15.6M
Sat., 4/6/13 6:00 PM Louisville Wichita St. Final Four CBS
8.7
14.5M
Sat., 3/30/13 7:00 PM Wichita St. Ohio State Elite Eight CBS
6.8
11.3M
Sun., 3/24/13
5:18 PM
Kansas UNC Third Rd. CBS
7.0
11.2M

(Saturday’s numbers from CBS/Turner Sports)