For CBS and Turner, the 2017 NCAA Tournament will be remembered as a highly successful event. The National Championship Game between North Carolina and Gonzaga on CBS averaged a 14.5/24 overnight rating/share, which is up 21% from last year’s North Carolina-Villanova thriller that aired on TBS. And for the entire tournament, the rating was 7.2/15, up 13% from last year’s overall number.

North Carolina-Gonzaga, which wasn’t a visual masterpiece and was stalled by fouls, remained close throughout, keeping the audience until the end. The game’s rating peaked with a 17.4/33 in the final quarter-hour between 11:30-11;45 p.m. ET.

In addition, the 14.5/24 number for the Championship Game is the third-highest since 2005. The overall overnight average of 7.2/15 for the entire tournament is the second-highest since 2005.

Of the top five highest-rated local markets, three of them were in North Carolina, while Gonzaga’s home market of Seattle-Tacoma also ranked high:

  1. Raleigh-Durham — 33/8/52
  2. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem — 31.7/47
  3. Charlotte — 30.1/46
  4. Seattle-Tacoma — 24.5/43
  5. Louisville — 23.5/38

CBS/Turner is also pleased with the amount of live streams that were generated for the National Championship. NCAA March Madness Live had 4.4 million live streams for the game, which is up 29% from 2016. Needless to say, that was a record for the event. And overall, it brought in 98 million live streams for the tournament, which is up 33% as compared to last year.

So with a compelling NCAA Tournament throughout and despite blueblood Duke and defending champion Villanova going out in the second round, people stayed with the tourney for three weeks all the way through the National Championship last night.

It will leave CBS/Turner execs with a satisfactory feeling as they put a wrap on the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

[CBS]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • Raymond Chuang

    Of course, it does help that CBS is available over-air, so the audience compared to TBS can be as much as 30% higher.

    • Walt_Gekko

      And as noted in a reply to another comment on this (in another thread), that doesn’t mean more DESIRABLE viewers to ad buyers.

      Most of the more desirable viewers have cable and are more likely to be reached by such ads, especially those 18-49. There are those ad buyers who pay extra to reach this group and even with a lower rating get the same bang for the buck they do on CBS. That’s why so many events have migrated to cable, where the age of the average viewer is likely far lower than it is on over-the-air stations.