Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for CBS (NCAA Basketball) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.


For one more night, Saturday night was all right for TV ratings as the semi-finals doubleheader of the Mens’ NCAA basketball tournament averaged a 4.4 rating with adults 18-49 and over 15 million viewers.  Here’s the half hour detail of the basketball (again, subject to significant revisions) via Marc Berman:

8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 19.36 million (#1), A18-49: 5.2/21 (#1)
8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 13.83 million (#1), A18-49: 4.0/15 (#1)
9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 14.02 million (#1), A18-49: 4.1/15 (#1)
9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 15.42 million (#1), A18-49: 4.5/15 (#1)
10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 13.60 million (#1), A18-49: 4.1/14 (#1)
10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 14.40 million (#1), A18-49: 4.4/15 (#1)


  • For ratings nerds: CBS had an 9.7/19, up +8% from 09. That rating is the highest average rating for the Final Four since a 10.9/19 in 2005.
  • And Duke-WVU got a 10/18, also up +8% from 9.3/17 last year (UNC-Nova). It’s the best rating in the window since an 11.4/19 05 (UNC-MSU)

Earlier in the night the annual airing of The Ten Commandments averaged a 1.4 rating with adults 18-49 and 5.88 million viewers,  down versus last year’s 1.7 rating with adults 18-49 and 6.8 million.  But Easter was later last year and The Ten Commandments didn’t have to go up against NCAA basketball.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (8p-11p) 4.4/15 19.36
ABC Movie: The Ten Commandments (R) 8p-11p 1.4/5 5.88
FOX Cops (2 repeats) 1.4/5 4.16
NBC Parenthood (R) 0.5/2 2.09
9:00 FOX America’s Most Wanted 1.5/5 4.84
NBC Law & Order (R) 0.9/3 4.02
10:00 NBC Law & Order: SVU (R) 1.3/4 4.90

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. Source: Marc Berman/Mediaweek.


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.

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