The first full day of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tournament coverage on March 21 averaged a 5.8 overnight rating across CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV, up 4% over last year.
That was the highest rating for the first Thursday of the tournament in 22 years.
Both the second daytime window (2:30-7:15 p.m. ET) and first primetime window (7-10:15 p.m.) garnered the higest ratings ever for those time slots with a 4.1 (+5%) and 5.5 (+6%), respectively. The first daytime window (12-4:15 p.m.) averaged a 4.1 rating, up 5% over last year and the second-highest rating for that time slot since 1991.
The final window, from 9:30 p.m.-12:34 a.m., was down 6% to a 6.4, even though it featured No. 14-seed Harvard's first-ever tournament victory over third-seed New Mexico. Window viewership no doubt suffered from a pair of major blowouts: VCU’s 46-point win versus Akron and Syracuse’s 47-point triumph over Montana
To date, the 2013 tournament is trending 2% higher than last year with a 5.2 rating overall. Second-round coverage resumes all-day Friday.