March Madness Ratings Roundup: Final Four Averages 16.8M Viewers, Up 44%
CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ coverage of the 2017 NCAA Tournament is the second most-watched in 23 years. To date, the NCAA Tournament is averaging 10.4 million viewers, up +14% from last year and the second-highest average viewership through the Final Four since 1994. Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live has generated an all-time best 93.5 million live video streams through the Final Four.
Saturday night’s NCAA Final Four National Semifinal games delivered audience increases, averaging 16.8 million viewers, making it the second most-watched Final Four in 19 years (since 1998; trailing only 2015). Viewership of the doubleheader – Gonzaga vs.South Carolina and North Carolina vs. Oregon – on CBS was up +44% over last year. Last year’s games were decided by a combined 61 points.
North Carolina-Oregon was watched by an average of 18.8 million viewers, up +46% from 2016, and the second highest average viewership for the late Final Four game in 19 years. The game peaked with 20.5 million viewers from 11-11:15 p.m. ET.
In the early game, Gonzaga-South Carolina delivered an average of 14.7 million viewers, up +40%, making it the second most-watched Final Four game in that window since 2005. The game peaked with 20.6 million viewers from 8:15-8:27 p.m.
Official March Madness social media handles have garnered over 63 million engagements during the NCAA Tournament to date, a79% increase over last year.