via press release:
2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Delivers Most-Viewed First Friday in 23 Years
Friday’s Live Coverage Averages 8.4 Million Total Viewers, Up 4%
NCAA Tournament Viewership Up 6% Through First Four Days vs. 2013; Most Viewed in 23 Years
CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive second-round coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV on Friday, March 21 – is the most-viewed first Friday of the NCAA Tournament in 23 years. Friday’s games averaged 8.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals, up 4% compared with 2013 (8.1 million total viewers). The coverage earned a 5.7/14 U.S. HH.
Overall, through the first four days, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is averaging 8.2 million total viewers, up 6% over last year (7.7 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 four days, the tournament is averaging a 5.5/13 U.S. HH rating.
Friday’s coverage showed viewership growth among the telecast windows.
- The first daytime telecast window averaged 5.8 million total viewers, the second highest viewership for the game window since 1991.
- The second daytime telecast window averaged 7.7 million total viewers, the highest viewership for the game window in 23 years (since 1991). The telecast window is up 10% compared with an average of 7.0 million total viewers last year.
- The first primetime telecast window averaged 10.2 million total viewers to garner the second most-viewed game window in 21 years (since 1993). The window is up 9% over an average of 9.4 million total viewers last year.
- The second primetime telecast window averaged 10.2 million total viewers to register the highest viewership for the game window in 23 years. The window is up 4% over an average of 9.8 million total viewers in 2013.
Collectively, second-round coverage on Thursday and Friday, March 20-21, averaged 8.5 million total viewers, the most-viewed second round in 23 years and a 5% increase over 2013 (8.1 million total viewers). The two days averaged a 5.7/13 U.S. HH rating, up 4% over last year (5.5/12 U.S. HH rating).
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Fast Nationals, Live +SD data stream through Round 2 of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. 3/18/14 to 03/21/13 vs. 03/19/13 to 03/22/13. 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.