Monday night’s final matchup of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament came in as the lowest-rated championship game ever.
Last night’s game, in which North Carolina beat Michigan State, drew a 10.8 household/18 share among households and 17.6 million viewers, according to final figures from Nielsen Media Research. This year’s final matchup was the lowest rated ever, down 11% from last year’s final game between Kansas and Memphis. This also marked the first time the household rating for an NCAA championship game fell below 11 points.
As Bill wrote in the overnight report, given the nature of the blowout, the results aren't very surprising. But the news isn't all bad for CBS and the NCAA. The overall coverage for the entire tournament on CBS averaged a 5.7/12 (household rating/share) and 8.9 million viewers this year, up 2% from last year’s all-time low average (excluding 2003 which coincided with the beginning of the war in Iraq).