CBS and Turner NCAA Tourney Ratings Sweet with Highest in 17 Years

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via press release:

THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON
TBS, CBS, TNT AND truTV
DELIVERS MOST TOTAL VIEWERS FOR THE TOURNAMENT IN 17 YEARS AND +14% OVERALL RATINGS GROWTH THROUGH THURSDAY

Thursday’s Regional Semi-Finals Also Score Highest Rating in 17 Years,
+15%, and Deliver 12 Million Total Viewers, +14% Over 2010

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 to deliver the most total viewers in 17 years (1994) with 8.8 million total viewers, +13% over CBS Sports’ 7.8 million total viewers in 2010.

The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 5.7 U.S. HH rating/13 share, +14% from a 5.0 U.S. HH rating/11 share for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.

Coverage of the regional semi-finals on CBS and TBS on Thursday, March 24 combined to deliver a household rating/share of 7.6 U.S. HH rating/14 share, +15% from a 6.6 U.S. HH rating/12 share for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage. The networks also averaged 12 million total viewers, +14% over CBS Sports’ 10.5 million total viewers in 2010.

The 7.6 U.S. HH rating/14 share was the highest rating for the Thursday regional semi-finals since an 8.2 U.S. HH rating/16 share in 17 years (1994).

The first telecast window of the night combined to earn a 7.4 U.S. HH rating/14 share, +23% from a 6.0 U.S. HH rating/11 share last year.

The second window of the night delivered a 7.8 U.S. HH rating/15 share, +10% from a 7.1 U.S. HH rating /13 share last year.

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

• A18-34 +36% (2,308 vs. 1,698)
• A18-49 +17% (4,182 vs. 3,584)
• A25-54 +13% (4,290 vs. 3,792)
• M18-34 +38% (1,563 vs. 1,129)
• M18-49 +21% (2,957 vs. 2,441)
• M25-54 +19% (3,058 vs. 2,573)

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 – 3/24/11 vs 2010 3/18/10 – 3/25/10. 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Dates of the NCAA Tournament historical audiences, CBS 1994 through 2005 based on Live data. 2006 through 2010 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.

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