via press release:
2013 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTv is Most-Watched First Thursday Since 1991 Thursday’s NCAA Tournament Coverage Delivers a 5.5 U.S. HH Rating and 8.1 Million Total Viewers
NCAA Tournament to Date is Most Watched in 20 Years CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive second round coverage of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV on Thursday, March 21, combined to deliver the most viewed (8.1 million total viewers) first Thursday of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship since 1991, when the tournament expanded to four telecast windows, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.
Thursday’s coverage earned a Fast National U.S. household rating/share of a 5.5/12, +4% vs. 2012, 5.3/13, the highest average rating for the first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament in 19 years (5.6/14, 1994).
The 2013 NCAA Tournament to date, including the First Four, is averaging a 5.0/11, +6% from last year’s 4.7/11, and is tied with the highest-to-date rating since 2006 (5.0/11).
Overall, the 2013 NCAA Tournament to date is the most-watched in 20 years (1993). The First Four and Thursday’s coverage averaged 7.4 million viewers, +7% vs. 6.9 million viewers last year.
– The first telecast window of the day combined to earn a 4.0/13, +14% vs. last year’s 3.5/13.
– The second telecast window of the day combined to earn a 5.1/13, +6% vs. last year’s 4.8/13.
– The third telecast window of the day combined to earn a 7.1/12, +11% vs. last year’s 6.4/12.
– The fourth telecast window of the day combined to earn a 5.9/11 vs. last year’s 6.4/12.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 3/19/13 to 03/21/13 vs. 03/13/12 to 03/15/12. 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. 2006 through 2012 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.