Game ratings up 3% from last year

CBS Sports will carry some ratings momentum into tonight’s NCAA men’s basketball championship game after solid numbers for Saturday’s semifinal action.

Nielsen metered-market overnights showed Saturday’s pair of games averaged a 9.3 household rating/18 share, up 3% from last year’s 9.0/17.

Defending champ Florida’s victory over UCLA in primetime (8:45-11 p.m. ET) averaged a 9.5/17, up 12% from last year’s comparable contest (8.5/15 for UCLA-LSU). That UCLA-LSU game averaged 13.15 million viewers in the nationals.

Earlier Saturday, Ohio State’s victory over Georgetown (6-8:15 p.m. ET) netted a 9.0/19, down slightly from last year’s 9.4/19 for Florida-George Mason.

When national ratings are released for Saturday primetime on Tuesday, CBS is expected to top the combined ABC-NBC-Fox demo delivery on the night.

CBS Sports’ average overnight household rating/share for the tournament to date is a 6.4/13, up a tick from last year’s 6.3/13 and the second best in five years. That’s pretty impressive since the early start of daylight-saving time this year produced lower viewing levels than usual for the tourney’s three weeks.

Tonight’s championship game pits Florida against Ohio State — the same schools that battled for the college football title game in January on Fox.

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