Four Nets Rate Highest Avg. Total Viewers in 17 Years for NCAA Tourney

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via press release:

THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON

TBS, CBS, TNT AND truTV

DELIVERS +15% RATINGS GROWTH AND AVERAGES 8.4 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS FOR FIRST WEEK OF TOURNAMENT

Highest Average Total Viewers for First Week of Tournament in 17 Years

Sunday’s Third-Round Coverage Delivers +18% Growth in Total Viewers

Turner Sports’ and CBS Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV combined, scores with the highest average total viewers through the first week of games in 17 years. The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 5.5/13, up +15% from a 4.8/11 for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.

TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV averaged 8.4 million total viewers, up +14% over CBS Sports’ 7.4 million total viewers in 2010.

Overall, the 2011 NCAA tournament has delivered 81.3 people 2+, up +17% from 69.6 viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage.

Third-round coverage on Sunday, March 20 combined to deliver an average fast national household rating/share of 6.6/14, up +16% from a 5.7/13 for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage.  The 6.6/14 ties with a 6.6/15 (2005) as the highest rating for the first Sunday of the Tournament since a 7.2/17, 11 years ago (2000).

Sunday’s coverage averaged 10.5 million viewers, up +18% from last year’s 8.9 million viewers.

The overall tournament average-to-date continues to deliver double-digit growth in key adult and male demos over 2010, including:

  • A18-34 +40%   (2,247 vs. 1,609)
  • A18-49 +18%   (4,011 vs. 3,397)
  • A25-54 +15%   (4,136 vs. 3,611)
  • M18-34 +40%   (1,516 vs. 1,080)
  • M18-49 +23%   (2,848 vs. 2,322)
  • M25-54 +21%   (2,973 vs. 2,460)

Source:  Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream.  2011 NCAA Tournament Dates, include First Four telecast gross.  Dates of NCAA Tournament:  2011 3/15/11 – 3/20/11 vs 2010 3/18/10 – 3/21/10.  2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.  Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data.  2006 through 2010 based on Live + SD.  2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.  Total Viewer Reach based on 6 minute qualifer for NCAA Tournament to-date (CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV) vs. 2010 CBS.

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