CBS Sports and Turner Sports' exclusive live coverage of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV combined to deliver the most viewed first week of the NCAA Tournament in 20 years (1993), according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. The combined coverage averaged 8.9 million total viewers, up 9% over last year's 8.2 million.
The 2013 NCAA Tournament is averaging a HH rating/share of 5.8/12, up 7% from a 5.4/12 last year, and is the highest average rating for the tournament's first week in 15 years (5.9/15 in 1995).
Third round coverage on Sunday, March 24, averaged 11.1 million total viewers, up 29% from last year's 8.6 million to become the most watched first Sunday in 15 years. The corresponding average HH rating/share of 7.1/14 is up 27% from last year's 5.6/11. The 7.1/14 is the highest rating for the first Sunday of the tournament in 13 years (7.2/17 in 2000).
Third round coverage on Sunday, March 24, scored with ratings increases across all four telecast windows:
- The first daytime telecast window (Noon-2:41 p.m. ET) averaged a 5.0/12, up 39% over last year's 3.6/9, the highest rating for the window in 11 years (5.2/13 in 2002).
- The second daytime telecast window (2:57-5:18 p.m.) averaged a 6.8/14, up 26% over last year's 5.4/12, the highest rating for the window since 2006 (7.0/16).
- The first primetime telecast window (5:18-9:20 p.m.) averaged a 10.9/20, up 31% over last year's 8.3/16, the highest rating for the window in 20 years (12.6/27 in 1993).
- The second primetime window (8:01 p.m.-12:12 a.m.) averaged a 5.9/10, up 4% vs. a 5.7/9 in 2012.
Additionally, according to Bluefin, the opening week of the NCAA Tournament generated over 6.3 million comments across social media with comment volume up 154% over the same period last year.
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Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 3/19/13 to 03/24/13 vs. 03/13/12 to 03/18/12. 2013, 2012 and 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data. 2006 through 2012 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round. Social Media data based on Bluefin for the same dates of the Tournament.