2015 NCAA Tournament Scores Highest Average Viewership in 22 Years

March 29, 2015

Kentucky vs. Notre Dame Delivers TBS’ Highest-Rated and Most-Viewed Program Ever; Highest-Rated & Most-Viewed College Basketball Game in Cable Television History
 
Kentucky/Notre Dame Telecast Peaks with 19.7 Million Viewers from 10:45-11 p.m. ET

CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV – is delivering its highest average viewership in 22 years (since 1993). Through last night (Saturday, March 28) the NCAA Tournament is averaging 9.9 million total viewers, up 2% through the same period last year, based on Nielsen Fast National audience data.
 
Last night’s thrilling Elite Eight game between Kentucky and Notre Dame on TBS averaged an 8.4/16 U.S. HH rating/share and 14.7 million total viewers to deliver the highest-rated and most-viewed program in the network’s history.  The Kentucky/Notre Dame telecast — peaking with an 11.1/20 U.S. HH rating/share and 19.7 million total viewers from 10:45-11 p.m. ET — is also the highest-rated and most-viewed college basketball game ever on cable television.
 
The NCAA Tournament to date is averaging a 6.3/14 U.S. HH rating/share, up 3% over last year’s 6.1/13. The 6.3/14 is tied with 1996, 1997 and 1998 as the highest average rating to date for the Tournament in 21 years (7.2/17; 1994).
 
Coverage of last night’s games – Wisconsin/Arizona and Kentucky/Notre Dame – delivered the highest average viewership and rating for the Saturday Regional Finals in 10 years (since 2005).  Saturday’s game coverage averaged 11.7 million viewers, up 34% from 2014, and a 6.8/13 rating/share, up 33% from last year.   
 
Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live continues its record-setting pace with 67 million live video streams and 14 million live hours of video consumption through Saturday, up 12% and 13% over last year.  Yesterday, NCAA March Madness Live delivered a record-setting 5.2 million live video streams and 1.2 million live hours, up 92% and 67%, respectively.
 
The NCAA Tournament has grossed a record 166 million total social impressions across Facebook and Twitter through the second Thursday for a 36% increase over 2014.
 
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Arianna, Live +SD data stream. 3/17/15 - 3/27/15 vs. 3/18/15 - 3/28/15.   2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data. Conviva, Adobe Analytics for digital metrics. Facebook Insights and Twitter for social analytics.