Ratings for CBS’ coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament have remained on par with a year ago despite the elimination of some of the tourney’s marquee teams.
According to Nielsen’s overnight ratings, “March Madness” has averaged a 6.0 rating/12 share for the first two weeks, even with last year’s pace and off by about 10% from the net’s mid-to-late ’90s results. CBS had been ahead of last year’s pace before third-round action saw the ouster of top-seed Duke and other big-city draws like UCLA and Syracuse.
Saturday’s primetime game between Michigan State and Iowa State (8.0/15) netted the tourney’s best ratings over the weekend, followed by Sunday’s late afternoon contest between Florida and Oklahoma State (7.2/15). The latter game was down 17% from last year’s comparable contest (8.7/17).
Michigan State is the only No. 1 seed left standing. The Spartans face Wisconsin on Saturday, followed by North Carolina vs. Florida, both on CBS. The Eye will air the championship game on Monday night.