×

March Madness Breaks Ratings Record on Opening Day

CBS and Turner are off to a great ratings start with their joint coverage of college basketball’s March Madness, as Thursday’s games produced the best-ever overnight rating for a first full day of action.

The saw a record five games decided by a single point — at least one apiece in the day’s four television windows — and that may have contributed to the strong numbers.

According to Nielsen estimates, exclusive coverage of the opening full round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 6.6 overnight household rating/14 share — up 10% from last year and the highest since the tournament expanded to four telecast windows for the entire day.

The first primetime telecast window (6:45-10:30 p.m. ET), which included the one-point Purdue-Cincinnati contest on CBS and North Carolina escaping with a two-point victory over Harvard on TNT, averaged a 7.8 rating/13 share. This was the highest-rated window of the day, up a tick from last year and the best for the time period in 25 years.

The second primetime window (9:16 p.m.-1:15 a.m. ET), highlighted by the one-point LSU-North Carolina State matchup on TBS and also bolstered by the appearance on CBS of undefeated and top-seeded Kentucky (against Hampton) in their first tournament game.

The day’s first telecast window (noon-4:30 p.m. ET) averaged a 4.6/15, and the second daytime telecast window garnered a 6.7/16, up a big 24% from last year and the best in 25 years.

 

 

More TV

  • Patrick Somerville'Maniac' TV Show premiere, London,

    'Maniac' Creator to Helm 'Made for Love,' 'Station Eleven' for WarnerMedia

    “Maniac” creator Patrick Somerville has signed on to helm two new series, “Made for Love” and “Station Eleven,” for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service. “Made for Love,” which will be executive produced and directed by S.J. Clarkson, is a 10-episode, straight-to-series adaptation based on the novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting. The half-hour comedy [...]

  • Naomi Watts and Gretchen Carlson'The Loudest

    ‘The Loudest Voice’ Stars Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe Talk Roger Ailes

    Roger Ailes may have been the force behind the creation of Fox News, but the late newsman’s legacy will forever be his atrocious sexual harassment of several of the network’s female anchors and producers. Showtime premiered its new limited series “The Loudest Voice,” which chronicles Ailes’ rise and fall, on Monday night at the Paris [...]

  • Steve McQueen VSS

    Amazon to Launch Steve McQueen's Anthology Series ‘Small Axe’ in the U.S.

    Amazon has boarded “Small Axe,” the upcoming anthology series from “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen, and will launch the series in the U.S. It will bow on the BBC in the U.K. and BBC Studios is selling it internationally. Amazon’s European content chief Georgia Brown revealed its involvement in the series, Tuesday, at [...]

  • Paula Pell

    Quibi Orders Comedic Murder Mystery From Lorne Michaels, 'SNL' Alums

    Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, [...]

  • Sky

    Comcast Expected to Appoint Maximo Ibarra as New Sky Italia CEO

    Colombian-Italian executive Maximo Ibarra is expected to be appointed CEO of Comcast-owned pay-TV operation Sky Italia, which has been without a chief executive for the past seven months, a source close to Sky Italia tells Variety. An announcement is believed imminent that Ibarra will be the Italian paybox’s new chief after it was announced Tuesday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content