NCAA tourney rankings dip after huge first round
Following a record audience for the preliminary of the males’s NCAA competition, upsets over the first 2 weeks have apparently taken a toll on the ratings.The tournament is
balancing 9.11 million audiences through the regional finals, down 6%from 2022. This after the first round on March 16-17 balanced 9.2 million to set a record for the most-watched round of 64. So after getting a dream Last Four field in 2015, CBS and Turner Sports have something very various this weekend with Florida Atlantic, Miami, San Diego State and UConn making it to Houston.”The public is telling us that they would rather see the blue bloods,”said previous CBS Sports president Neal Pilson, who now runs his own sports television consulting company.”The ratings support that. I think it’s because they’re not knowledgeable about teams like San Diego State, Miami or FAU. There was reasonably little press attention paid to those groups during the year. Connecticut has a history, but they’re the only one of the four that truly has had national exposure. “Last year’s Final 4 of Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Villanova resonated even with casual fans due to the fact that it was loaded with national brands while also being Mike Krzyzewski’s last competition as heaven Devils ‘coach. And so 2 of last year’s Last Four contests rank amongst the three most-watched college basketball games in cable TV history. The semifinal match in between North Carolina and Duke averaged 18.5 million on TBS and ranks second, while Kansas’ comeback triumph over North Carolina in the title game averaged 18.1 million.Editor’s Picks 2 Related According to Sports Media Watch, which tracked Last Four rankings to 1975, the Baylor-Houston game from two years ago ranks as the least-watched semifinal at 8.36 million.(Person semifinals
started being tracked in 2002.)The low for a title game on CBS is 2004, when 17.09 million enjoyed UConn defeat Georgia Tech. The total low remained in 2018 on TBS, when 15.99 million seen Villanova’s win over Michigan. CBS and TBS began alternating Final Fours in 2016. Another thing that might factor into the rankings this year is that Miami and Florida Atlantic are from the exact same Miami/West Palm Beach television market.There are indications that suggest the audience drop won’t be as bad. Sunday’s local final in between Miami and Texas on CBS averaged 11.3 million
, which was the most-watched basketball game because last year’s deciding game of the NBA Finals.ESPN, on the other hand, stated Tuesday that viewership of the women’s basketball competition
was up 42% over 2022. That consists of a typical viewership of 1.2 million for the Sweet 16( up 73% )and 2.2 million for the Elite 8 (up 43%). Those figures include an Elite 8 record of 2.5 million viewing Iowa’s win over Louisville.The Associated Press contributed to this report.