March Madness is delivering a ratings increase for CBS and Turner.
Live game coverage across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, including the First Four and first Thursday games, is averaging 7.8 million viewers, up +5% from last year (7.4 million) according to Nielsen. The networks’ coverage of the first Thursday averaged 8.2 million viewers, up +4% from last year (7.9 million viewers), and ranking as the third most-watched first Thursday since 1991.
The NCAA First Four airing on truTV (Tuesday and Wednesday) grossed 5.9 million viewers, up 12% over last year, ranking as the second most-viewed First Four coverage since the format was introduced in 2011.
Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live (MML) has generated an all-time record 31 million live streams through the first Thursday of the tournament, an increase of +26% over last year.
Official March Madness social media handles generated 4.9 million social engagements across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram through Thursday, which is up +23% over the corresponding time period last year.
The combined networks’ coverage delivered increases in three game telecast windows:
• Telecast Window 1 (12-4:10 p.m.) – 5.6 million viewers, up +4% and the second highest viewer average for this window since 1991
• Telecast Window 2 (2:46-6:53 p.m.) – 7.4 million viewers, up +10% and the third highest viewer average in this window since 1991
• Telecast Window 3 (6:38-9:57 p.m.) – 10.3 million viewers, up +3% and the fourth highest viewer average in this window since 1993