via press release:
2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Delivers Most-Viewed First Thursday in 23 Years
Thursday’s Live Coverage Averages 8.6 Million Total Viewers, Up 6%
NCAA Tournament Viewership Up 9% Through First Three Days; Most-Viewed in 23 Years
Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ exclusive second-round coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV on Thursday, March 20 – is the most-viewed first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament in 23 years. Thursday’s games averaged 8.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals, up 6% compared with 2013 (8.1 million total viewers). The coverage earned a 5.6/13 U.S. HH rating/share.
Overall, through the first three days, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is averaging 8.1 million total viewers, up 9% over last year (7.4 million total viewers), and is the most-viewed start to the tournament since 1991 (when the tournament expanded to four telecast windows for the entire day). Through three days, the tournament is averaging a 5.3/12 U.S. HH rating/share.
Thursday’s coverage, which made NCAA Tournament history with four overtime games in one day, showed viewership growth among the telecast windows.
- The first daytime telecast window averaged 6.3 million total viewers, the highest viewership for the game window in 23 years (since 1991). The telecast window is up 17% compared with an average of 5.4 million total viewers last year.
- The second daytime telecast window averaged 7.6 million total viewers to garner the most-viewed game window in 23 years. The window is up 6% over an average of 7.2 million total viewers last year.
- The first primetime telecast window averaged 11.4 million total viewers to register the highest viewership for the game window in 23 years. The window is up 3% over an average of 11.1 million total viewers in 2013.
- The second primetime window averaged 8.7 million total viewers.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Fast Nationals, Live +SD data stream. 3/18/14 to 03/20/13 vs. 03/19/13 to 03/21/13. 2013, 2012 and 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.