With upsets aplenty, CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ coverage of the first Friday of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship edged past the comparable day a year ago.
Second-round coverage on Friday, March 22, which included upstart Florida Gulf Coast’s stunning 10-point win over second-seeded Georgetown in the South Region, combined to average 8.1 million viewers across CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV, making it the most-watched first Friday of the tournament in 22 years. The 8.1 million total viewers were up 1% vs. last year’s 8.0 million count.
On March 22, the telecast teammates posted a 5.4 U.S. household rating/13 share, tied with last year as the highest-rated first Friday in 19 years (5.8/15 in 1994).
Through the first four days and two rounds of coverage, this year’s version of March Madness has averaged 7.7 million viewers, the most for an NCCA tourney in 22 years, when it expanded to its current format. The delivery outpaced last year’s performance over the corresponding span by 4% from 7.4 million viewers. The 2013 NCAA tournament has netted a 5.2/12 share, a 4% advance over last year’s 5.0/12 and tied with 1997 as the event's highest rating to date since the current format has been in play.