Apr 2, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; Villanova Wildcats guard Jalen Brunson (1) celebrates with the National Championship trophy after beating the Michigan Wolverines in the championship game of the 2018 men's Final Four at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

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:

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.

[Sports Media Watch]

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