via press release:
THE 2011 NCAA® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ON
TBS, CBS, TNT AND truTV MOST-WATCHED TOURNAMENT SINCE 2005 AVERAGING 9.1 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS
CBS Sports’ and Turner Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is the most-watched tournament since 2005, averaging 9.1 million total viewers, +11% from 8.2 million total viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage. The overall tournament average-to-date, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 5.9/13 rating/share, +13% from a 5.2/12 for 2010, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.
The 5.9/13 ties with 2006 as the highest average rating for the NCAA Tournament through the Saturday regional finals since a 6.1/13 in 2005.
Coverage of the regional finals on CBS on Saturday, March 26 averaged 9.9 million total viewers, the highest viewer average for the Saturday regional finals since 2005 (when both games went to OT), and earned a household rating/share of 6.2/13 even with 2010.
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 – 3/26/11 vs 2010 3/18/10 – 3/27/10. 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.