via press release:
Final Four Delivers Highest Overall Ratings since 2005
CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2011 Final Four on Saturday, April 2 earned an average fast national household/share of 8.9/17, which ties with 2010 as the highest rated Final Four since 2005.
The 2011 Final Four averaged 15.4 million viewers, which was the highest for the two Final Four games since 2005 (16.6 million; Illinois-Louisville and North Carolina-Michigan State).
“We are very pleased that this year’s Final Four ratings matched last year’s strong numbers which were the best in five years,” said Mike Aresco, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “We are excited about the Championship game which features two of the most remarkable stories of the season in Connecticut and Butler.”
The first game, Butler beating VCU, earned an average household rating/share of 8.3/17. The game averaged 14.2 million viewers, which was the second-highest viewer average for the first Final Four game since 2006 (14.5 million; Florida-George Mason).
The second game featuring Connecticut’s victory over Kentucky delivered a 9.5/17. This 9.5/17 is the best rating in the window since a 10.9/19 in 2005 (North Carolina-Michigan State). The game averaged 16.7 million viewers, which was the highest viewer average for the second Final Four game since 2005 (17.5 million; North Carolina-Michigan State).
Turner Sports’ and CBS Sports’ exclusive live coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV has delivered the best overall tournament-to-date ratings since 2005. The overall tournament average-to-date rating/share, including the FIRST FOUR®, is a 6.2/13, +9% from a 5.7/13. The 6.2/13 is the highest average rating for the NCAA Tournament through the Final Four since a 6.6/14 in 2005.
"We are thrilled at the continued success of the Tournament on our combined networks and look forward to what should be a terrific culmination of our joint coverage with Monday's Championship game between Butler and UConn on CBS," said Lenny Daniels, Turner Sports Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President.
The overall tournament is averaging 9.9 million total viewers, +10% from 9.0 million total viewers for CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage. This is the highest viewer average at this point in the Tournament since 10.2 million in 2005.