For those thinking that the ratings for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship Game would suffer without Kentucky, think again. The Duke-Wisconsin game on CBS saw the best overnight ratings for the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship since 1997’s 18.0/28 for Arizona-Kentucky.
The numbers are in and CBS received a 17.7/27 overnight rating/share which is up 33% from last year’s UConn-Kentucky game which averaged a 12.9/21. During the last half-hour of the game, the numbers peaked at 20.1/34.
This bodes well for the final number as well as viewership which could see as much as 23 million.
CBS says the top five markets are as follows:
- Milwaukee – 42.2/59
- Raleigh-Durham – 36.2/54
- Louisville – 33.5/48
- Columbus – 29.9/44
- Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem – 29.5/43
Milwaukee saw very good numbers for Duke-Wisconsin, but they didn’t reach the levels for NFC Championship Game which involved the Green Bay Packers which had a 53.5 local rating.
For the entire tournament, CBS/TBS/TNT/truTV averaged a 7.8/16 overnight rating/share which is up 13% from last year and is the best overnight number dating back to 1993 when the entire tournament on CBS averaged a 7.9/17.
CBS and Turner Sports have to feel optimistic that the final numbers will be good when all is tabulated and calculated.