Two blowouts certainly didn’t help the Final Four on TBS. With both games having deciding margins of over 15 points, viewership fell in 2016 by an average of 37.15%. While 2015 was one of the most-viewed tournaments in history, this year’s tournament has seen lower numbers thanks to seeing Kentucky eliminated early and Duke sent out in the Sweet 16.
In the first game between Villanova-Oklahoma which saw the Wildcats win by an unbelievable 95-51 final score, garnered an average of 10.5 million viewers on TBS, TNT and truTV. That’s down 31.4% from Duke-Michigan State the year before.
The late window had North Carolina beating Syracuse 83-66, Turner Sports saw an average viewership of 12.9 million viewers on the three Turner networks. This was down 42.9% from last year’s epic Wisconsin-Kentucky game.
But there is a silver lining for Turner Sports. Villanova-Oklahoma and North Carolina-Syracuse were the third and fourth-most viewed college basketball games in cable TV history, below last year’s Final Four. To top it off, this year’s Final Four gave the Turner networks the win in primetime over all programs in both broadcast and cable TV.
And with the North Carolina-Villanova in the National Championship game on TBS, TNT and truTV tonight, Turner should see some very good numbers and potentially become the most-viewed college basketball game on cable TV. We shall see.