NCAA Tourney Viewership Down 3% Despite Stronger Elite 8
The NCAA Tournament’s total audience viewership headed into the Final Four is down 3% compared to last year, when the tourney was having its third best performance over the last 24 years. That TV+streaming figure across TBS, TNT, truTV, CBS and March Madness Live was down 4% headed into the Sweet 16. Elite 8 numbers were solid for Turner and CBS, but the Sweet 16 matchups, which featured a record nine teams seeded fifth or lower, were not as strong. For the four Elite 8 games across CBS, TBS and MML, total audience viewership was 10.7 million viewers, up 5% from last year’s 10.2 million viewers (TV-only). Kansas-Duke late on Sunday afternoon was the top game of the weekend, averaging 15.7 million viewers (total audience), which is the best Elite 8 game since ’05, when Michigan State beat Kentucky in double OT. The Kansas-Duke matchup, which went to OT, also was a boon for CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Kansas-Duke peaked at 24.9 million viewers from 7:15-7:30pm ET, as viewers had to wait until the game’s conclusion to watch a highly anticipated interview with Stormy Daniels. That helped power “60 Minutes” to its best audience in around a decade. Through the Elite 8, MML has seen over 17 million live hours of consumption, marking the second-best figure in the platform’s history. The Turner-managed March Madness accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram also have seen a record six million engagements, up 54% from last year.