via press release:
2012 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTv Delivers Most-Watched First Thursday & Friday Since 1991
Friday’s 5.4 U.S. HH+8%; Eight Million Total Viewers +7%
Turner Sports and CBS Sports' exclusive second-round coverage of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV on Friday combined to deliver a 5.4 U.S. HH rating (+8% compared with a 5.0 rating in 2011 and +29% vs. 2010’s 4.2 rating) and eight million total viewers (+7% vs. 7.5 million viewers last year and +27% vs. 2010’s 6.3 million viewers), according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.
Last night’s coverage across the four networks delivered the most-watched first Friday of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship (records date back to 1991, when the tournament expanded to four telecast windows).
Overall, the first Thursday and Friday is the most-watched since 1991. Thursday and Friday coverage averaged a 5.3 U.S. HH rating (+6% compared with a 5.0 rating in 2011) and 7.9 million viewers (+5% vs. 7.5 million viewers last year).
The first telecast window of the day earned a 3.8 U.S. HH rating (tied with last year’s record-setting performance in the window and +41% vs. a 2.7 rating in 2010).
The second telecast window of the day delivered a 5.2 U.S. HH rating (+11% vs. last year and +63% vs. a 3.2 rating in 2010).
The third telecast window of the day netted a 6.5 U.S. HH rating (+12% vs. last year and +20% vs. a 5.4 rating in 2010).
The final window earned a 6.0 U.S. HH rating (+2% vs. last year and +18% vs. a 5.1 rating in 2010).
Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 3/13-3/16/12 vs 3-15-3/17811. 2011 and 2012 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 2012 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.