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Volume 26 No. 201
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CBS, TBS See Best Elite Eight Ratings In Four Years With Thrilling Games

TBS and CBS averaged a 7.2 overnight rating for the four regional final games on Saturday and Sunday, marking the best Elite Eight since ’15 (8.0 rating), and second-best figure since the media entities linked up for coverage prior to the ’11 tournament. CBS’ telecast of Michigan State-Duke yesterday drew a 10.5 overnight, marking the best figure for a late Sunday regional final since ’05, when Michigan State beat Kentucky in double OT (10.8 rating). Yesterday’s game also is the second-best late Sunday regional final in 29 years, dating back to a 12.4 for UNLV-Loyola Marymount in ’90. Each of the other three regional final windows also saw year-over-year upticks. Through the regional finals, CBS/TNT/TBS/truTV are averaging a 6.7 overnight, marking the tourney’s best figure since a 7.2 in ’15 and tied for the third-best figure in 26 years. The 6.7 overnight is up 8% from a 6.2 last year. NCAA March Madness Live also is seeing all-time records for the complete tourney in live streams and live hours (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NCAA TOURNAMENT ELITE EIGHT OVERNIGHTS
YEAR
DAY
NET
START (ET)
MATCHUP
RATING
'19
Sun.
CBS
5:00pm
Michigan State-Duke
10.5
'19
Sun.
CBS
2:15pm
Auburn-Kentucky
7.1
'19
Sat.
TBS
8:45pm
Virginia-Purdue
6.6
'19
Sat.
TBS
6:00pm
Texas Tech-Gonzaga
5.0
YEAR
DAY
NET
START (ET)
MATCHUP
RATING
'18
Sun.
CBS
5:00pm
Duke-Kansas
10.1
'18
Sun.
CBS
2:15pm
Villanova-Texas Tech
6.2
'18
Sat.
TBS
8:45pm
Michigan-Florida State
5.8
'18
Sat.
TBS
6:00pm
Loyola Chicago-Kansas State
4.9
Download the
Elite Eight Ratings Chart

FOUR SQUARE: In Phoenix, Bill Goodykoontz wrote this year's Final Four purely as a TV show is "not that thrilling." It is "difficult to imagine" Virginia, Auburn, Michigan State and Texas Tech "attracting a lot of casual fans." Other than "students and alumni of schools involved and the serious college-basketball junkie, who's going to watch?" On the other side, listening to CBS' Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery and Grant Hill fawn over Zion Williamson "got a little old," and that "won't be missed" (AZCENTRAL.com, 3/31).

SPLIT-SECOND MISTAKE: THE ATHLETIC's Richard Deitsch wrote the team of Brian Anderson and Chris Webber was "terrific" during the tournament. Anderson has a "great sense for the pace of play in college basketball and when to go big on his call," and often "lets Webber dominate many of the possessions." However, in the closing seconds of Virginia-Purdue, Anderson told viewers that Virginia F Mamadi Diakite "was shooting for the win," when it actually was for a tie. Anderson said of the call, "I can't make that mistake. There is no excuse. I did not serve the viewers well on that play. It's embarrassing. I deserve the criticism" (THEATHLETIC.com, 4/1).

NO MISSOURI COMPROMISE: YAHOO SPORTS' Nick Bromberg noted residents in the middle of Missouri "weren't able to watch" Elite Eight games yesterday on their local CBS affiliate "because of a technical issue." KRCG-CBS was "off the air," and fans "couldn't watch the all-SEC Elite Eight matchup between Auburn and Kentucky and the other Elite Eight game between Duke and Michigan State on their local affiliate." KRCG "came back on the air" at about 6:30pm CT, right after Michigan State's win over Duke (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/31).