CBS and TBS’s coverage of Friday’s regional semifinals of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney was the highest in 20 years.
The quartet of March 29 telecasts, highlighted by Michigan’s stirring, overtime comeback versus Kansas, averaged 13.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals data. That was up 20% from last year’s 10.9 million watchers.
Friday's regional semifinal coverage garnered an 8.2 U.S. rating and 16 share, up 22% from last year’s 6.7/12, and the highest average for the corresponding round since 1994’s 8.6/17.
Through the regional semifinal round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, TBS, CBS, TNT and TruTV combined to average 9.4 million total viewers, a 9% gain from last year’s 8.6 million viewers. This year’s version of March Madness through March 29 marks the highest average for the NCAA Tournament at that stage in 20 years: CBS averaged 10.5 million in 1993. The tourney has posted a 6.1/13 to date, the best since a 6.2/14 in 1998 and 9% more than 2012’s 5.6/12.