Michigan vs. Louisville

NCAA tournament's championship contest rises 18% in the metered markets vs. last year

CBS won Monday’s ratings race behind a strong showing for college basketball’s championship game, which grew nicely year to year, but NBC held tough as both “The Voice” and “Revolution” were up from last week.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Voice” averaged a 4.9 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 13.7 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m. despite going up against the start of the basketball game in much of the country and the conclusion of it in the West. It grew about 5% from last week and matched its spring-season high in the demo (and could pass it if it rises in the nationals as it typically does).

And at 10 p.m., rookie drama “Revolution” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) edged up from its low of last week. Though it faced the highly-rated basketball action, it didn’t oppose an original episode of its drama rivals “Castle” or “Hawaii Five-O,” which may have helped.

Monday’s basketball game, in which Louisville outlasted Michigan 82-76 for its first championship in 27 years, averaged a 14.3 household rating/23 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, up 18% from last year’s 12.1/19 for Kansas and Kentucky. Last year’s contest translated into a final national rating of 7.6 in adults 18-49 and 20.87 million viewers overall.

While this year’s game will surely beat last year’s in the nationals, it figures to come in a bit short of what ESPN garnered three months ago for college football’s championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame (9.2/23 in 18-49, 26.38 million viewers overall).

The overall 2013 NCAA Tournament on CBS and Turner Sports averaged a 7.2 household rating/15 share in the metered markets, up 9% from a 6.6/14 last year and ties with 2011 as the highest overall average for the event in eight years.

Monday’s game on CBS peaked with a 17.3/32 in the metered markets from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET. The top five local-market averages came from Louisville (54.0/70), Detroit (33.5/47), Columbus, Ohio (26.4/40), Indianapolis (25.1/39) and Cincinnati (24.7/38).

At ABC, “Dancing With the Stars” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall) hit a season low as “The Voice” opened up its largest demo advantage yet (8 shares in adults 18-49 and 7 shares in adults 25-54) while pulling ahead of it in total viewers (13.7 million to 12.9 million). The net capped the night with a repeat “Castle” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall).

Fox’s “The Following” held up well (2.2/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), matching last week’s demo score despite facing basketball in much of the country and getting a repeat lead-in from “Bones” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall). On Monday, Nielsen released DVR data that showed “The Following” was the biggest 18-49 gainer in full-week playback, rising 1.7 points.

CW said goodbye, at least for the season, to “The Carrie Diaries’ (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall), which was up a bit from last week in 18-49 and 18-34 (to 0.5/2). The net will announce if the show is coming back for a second season next month.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 5.5/14 (approximate); NBC, 4.0/11; ABC, 1.8/5; Fox, 1.6/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 15.9 million (approximate), NBC, 11.2 million; ABC, 11.1 million; Fox, 5.2 million; CW, 0.8 million.

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