The Villanova blowout of Michigan drew a record overnight rating for Monday’s NCAA men’s basketball championship game. The game drew a 10.3 overnight rating across TBS, TNT and truTV.
This was the second time that the NCAA Championship has aired on cable. Two years ago, the Villanova-North Carolina buzzer beater drew a 12.0 on the Turner consortium.
The 10.3 number was off by 29 percent from last year’s North Carolina-Gonzaga game on CBS, which averaged a 14.5 rating.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily also tweeted some other figures from the overnights:
Villanova's blowout win over Michigan delivered a 10.3 overnight rating across TBS/TNT/truTV. New low for an NCAA men's title game. Still won the night across ALL OF TV. Rating peaked 10pm ET (11.5), then got down to 7.0 in final 15 minutes. Detroit led markets with 21.4 rating
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) April 3, 2018
CBS/Turner can take some solace in the fact that Villanova-Michigan was the highest rated program not just on cable, but in all of television on Monday. However, Monday’s overnight barely registered as the highest-rated game of this year’s tournament. Duke-Kansas in the Midwest Regional Final received a 10.1 on CBS.
Sports Media Watch notes that Villanova has now played in two of the five lowest-rated National Championship games. However, both games were played on TBS/TNT/truTV. SMW also has this comparison:
To put the numbers in perspective, the 10.3 overnight trails January’s college football national championship on the ESPN family of networks (Alabama-UGA: 16.7) and every NBA Finals game since 2014 (Heat-Spurs Game 2: 10.2).
Some will say that the 9:20 p.m. ET tip-off contributed to the lower number, but Villanova’s pulling away early in the second half likely had more to do with the dropoff than the late start. Had the game remained close throughout, the overnight rating would have been higher.
Next year’s NCAA Championship game will air on CBS, so there should be a bump from this year’s numbers.