'

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament TV Ratings

Categories: '

Written By

March 31st, 2009

ncaabasketballthrough2008

Looking at the fairly constant TV ratings of the championship game, around 30 million viewers from 1975-1994 and then the steep drop to around 20 million since 2003, I wondered what the heck happened starting in 1995? I can't figure it out, maybe someone else out there knows something that I don't. Give it your best shot in the comments.

Here is some historical data on TV advertising during the NCAA tournament and other sporting events.

Read below for the historical viewership and some additional facts:


Year Through Regional Finals Regional Finals Championship Game
Finals Matchup
1975     30.08   UCLA vs KENTUCKY
1976     26.71   INDIANA vs MICHIGAN
1977     26.40   MARQUETTE vs NORTH CAROLINA
1978     25.38   KENTUCKY vs DUKE
1979     35.11   MICHIGAN ST vs INDIANA ST
1980         LOUISVILLE vs UCLA
1981     29.06   INDIANA vs NORTH CAROLINA
1982     30.59   NORTH CAROLINA vs GEORGETOWN
1983     32.14   NC STATE vs HOUSTON
1984     25.14   GEORGETOWN vs HOUSTON
1985     31.23   VILLANOVA vs GEORGETOWN
1986     28.71   LOUISVILLE vs DUKE
1987     32.06   INDIANA vs SYRACUSE
1988     26.69   KANSAS vs OKLAHOMA
1989     31.12   MICHIGAN vs SETON HALL
1990     29.26   UNLV vs DUKE
1991     29.02   DUKE vs KANSAS
1992     34.31   DUKE vs MICHIGAN
1993     32.94   NORTH CAROLINA vs MICHIGAN
1994     32.73   ARKANSAS vs DUKE
1995     27.41   UCLA vs ARKANSAS
1996     26.67   KENTUCKY vs SYRACUSE
1997     28.36   ARIZONA vs KENTUCKY
1998     26.60   KENTUCKY vs UTAH
1999     26.30   CONNECTICUT vs DUKE
2000     20.59   MICHIGAN ST vs FLORIDA
2001 8.0 9.80 23.87   DUKE vs ARIZONA
2002 8.5 10.65 23.69   MARYLAND vs INDIANA
2003 7.2 8.46 18.57   SYRACUSE vs  KANSAS
2004 8.4 9.38 17.09   CONNECTICUT vs GEORGIA TECH
2005 9.7 12.38 23.90   NORTH CAROLINA vs ILLINOIS
2006 8.8 10.11 17.54   UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA vs UCLA
2007 8.3 9.20 19.56   UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA vs OHIO STATE
2008 8.0 9.02 19.50   KANSAS vs MEMPHIS

 -
Numbers above are in millions of viewers.

  1. NBC televised the game from 1975-1981, CBS from 1982-present.
  2. Since 1975, the NCAA Championship Final game has always been on a Monday night, starting between 8-9pm Eastern until 1991 since then it's started at 9:15 Eastern every year except 1995 when it started at 8:30pm.
  3. 2006-2008 data above is Live+SD, all other data is Live viewing.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures