No cooling down for March Madness
Tourney drawing strongest viewership in 19 years
April 1, 2013
The Cinderella teams that generated so much buzz during the opening weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament were sent home in week two, but the event still kept up its ratings momentum.
Through Saturday’s games, March Madness is drawing its biggest audience in 19 years.
The tourney has averaged 9.4 million total viewers per game, according to Nielsen, up 9 percent over 8.6 million last year.
It’s tied with the 1994 tourney as the best in 19 years, though back then games were shown on only one network, CBS.
Since 2011, coverage has been split between four networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.
The games have averaged a 6.1 household rating, also 9 percent better than last year, and tied with 2005 as the best in 15 years.
Friday’s regional semifinals, which featured the highly anticipated Duke-Michigan State and Florida Gulf Coast-Florida games, drew the best rating for that round in 23 years.
Turner and CBS averaged an 8.9 rating, increasing by 20 percent over last year’s 7.4.
The momentum should continue into next weekend with three traditional basketball powerhouses making the Final Four, which always drives ratings.
Though teams such as 15th-seeded FGC and La Salle, another low-seeded squad that advanced to the Sweet 16, generate lots of attention and excitement in the early rounds, the later rounds tend to draw better ratings when better-known programs advance.
Michigan moved on to its first Final Four since the Fab Five made it to back-to-back title games two decades ago.
Louisville, with legendary coach Rick Pitino, topped Duke on Sunday to advance to the Final Four as well following a gruesome injury to Kevin Ware, which seemed to give the team an emotional spark.
And Syracuse moved into the national semis riding the momentum of a surprising upset of No. 1 seed Indiana earlier in the weekend, its fourth Final Four appearance under coach Jim Boeheim.
The only mid-major squad in the Final Four is Wichita State, which became the first Missouri Valley Conference squad to make it this far since Larry Bird’s college days at Indiana State.
Cable overnights: ‘Dance’ improves slot
Cover up: Cosmo going under wraps
Nielsen examines Jen and Ben and Jen
Real loser in digital ads surge: TV
Study: Tube time really adds up over the years
NBC dominates with ‘Talent’ special
More fallout from botched UVA rape story
Four hot trends in online advertising
Back to school guide: By the numbers
Free ice cream when temperatures soar
‘Significant Mother,’ notify next of kin
TV’s odd infatuation with hoarders
Cable overnights: ‘Catch’ snags first
- Andrea Gustafson becomes design director at Havas Worldwide
- Tim Dingersen and Morgan Leykam join Reason2Be
- Danielle Maged becomes EVP of partnerships at Fox Networks
- Margaret de Streel rises to international editor at Wall Street Journal
- Arthur Gregg Sulzberger rises to associate editor at The NY Times
- Alex Berkett becomes SVP of corporate development at Viacom
- David O’Connell rises to EVP of production management at NBCU
- John Cook becomes acting executive editor at Gawker
- Vicky Ward and David Bouley join Town & Country
- Scott Nelson becomes head of Viber North America
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This month’s new media traffic data
This week’s top movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This week’s younger viewer ratings
Assistant media planner job in Atlanta
Local marketing specialist wanted in Greensboro
Part-time media buyer job in Lake Bluff, Illinois
Media buyer/planner wanted in Louisville
Assistant media planner opening in Atlanta