'First Four' Ratings Decline On Second Night


The third and fourth games of the First Four didn't measure up to the initial two with the Nielsens.
According to Nielsen Fast National data, TruTV averaged a 0.5 U.S. rating and 786,000 watchers for its coverage of University of Texas San Antonio-Alabama State from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 16, followed by a 0.8 and 1.25 million watchers on average for VCU-USC in the nightcap.
That compares with a 0.8 and 1.2 million viewers for the initial "First Four" game on March 15, UNC Asheville v. Arkansas-Little Rock, while Clemson v. UAB netted a 0.9 household rating and 1.35 million watchers in the nightcap.
For the First Four, TruTV averaged a 0.8 U.S. rating and 1.142 million viewers for coverage of the First Four on Tuesday and Wednesday night,
The NCAA tournament was expanded this year to a 68-team field, with TruTV televising the First Four contests. CBS and Turner Sports reached a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with the NCAA last April, under which each game, for the first time in the tourney's 73-year history, has its own national window on either the broadcast network, TruTV, TBS or TNT.