CBS/Turner See Record Overnights for 1st Week of 2015 NCAA Men’s Tournament

Observers may have criticized the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee over seedings and various teams getting into the Big Dance, but the games and matchups that resulted from the First Four to the Round of 32 has generated record ratings for the CBS/Turner broadcast consortium.

For the first week on CBS, TBS, TNT and the much-maligned truTV, the four networks have averaged a 6.7 overnight rating with a 14 share that the highest-ever first week rating since 1991. That’s up 6% from last year’s 6.3/14.

Saturday’s overnight rating was a 7.4/17 which again set a record for CBS/Turner.

And CBS/Turner is pleased over the visits to NCAA March Madness Live which have garnered 54 million live video streams, an increase of 7% over 2014.

Here’s the official announcement:


NCAA Tournament Opening Week Generates Highest-Ever Overnight Television Ratings
NCAA March Madness Live Nets Record 54 Million Live Video Streams Through Sunday

The 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship continues to generate record-setting consumption across all multimedia platforms. CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of the NCAA Tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is averaging a 6.7/14 overnight rating/share to register as the highest-ever rating for the event through the first Sunday (since the tournament expanded to its current television format in 1991). This year’s NCAA Tournament-to-date overnight rating (6.7/14) is up 6% compared to a 6.3/14 in 2014, based on Nielsen metered market ratings.

This weekend’s exclusive third-round coverage on Saturday and Sunday delivered an average 7.3/16 overnight rating/share, the highest rating for the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament in 22 years and a 7% increase over last year’s 6.8/14.

NCAA March Madness Live has also generated a record-setting 54 million live video streams through Sunday, a 7% increase over last year.  Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live has netted more than 11 million hours of live video consumption through the first week of the tournament, up 8% through the same period a year ago.

The NCAA Tournament has also grossed a record 108 million total social impressions across Facebook and Twitter through Sunday for a 40% increase over 2014.

Source: Nielsen Media Research, Arianna, Live +SD data stream. 3/17/15 – 3/22/15 vs. 3/18/15 – 3/23/15.   2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data. Conviva, Adobe Analytics for digital metrics. Facebook Insights and Twitter for social analytics.

There you have it.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.