Pressroom

2017 NCAA Tournament is Most-Watched in 24 Years Across Television Through First Sunday, Plus Record-Setting Digital Consumption

Sunday’s Coverage across TBS, CBS, TNT & truTV Averages 11.9 Million Viewers, Up +34% over 2016

March Madness Live Generates All-Time Record 69.1 Million Live Streams to Date, an Increase of +24% from Last Year

CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2017 NCAA Tournament is delivering significant audience increases across all platforms.  To date, the Tournament is generating record viewership across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, streaming on NCAA March Madness Live and engagement through social media channels.

Live game coverage across the four Networks on Sunday, March 19, averaged 11.9 million viewers, up +34% from last year (8.9 million), making it the most-watched first Sunday in 24 years (since 1993).  Overall, the 2017 NCAA Tournament is the most-watched in 24 years through the first Sunday, with an average of 9,325,000 million viewers, up +10% from 2016 (8,513,000).

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live (MML) has generated an all-time record 69.1 million live streams through the first Sunday of the tournament, an increase of +24% over last year.  NCAA Tournament games garnering the most live streams to date, include: Notre Dame vs. Princeton (5.4 million streams); Virginia vs. UNC-Wilmington (4.3 million streams) and Michigan vs. Oklahoma State (4.2 million streams).

Official March Madness social media handles have generated 26 million social engagements across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram through Sunday, which is up +20% over the corresponding time period last year.

On Sunday, the networks’ coverage delivered significant increases versus a year ago in all four game telecast windows on Sunday:

  • Telecast Window 1 (Noon-2:29 p.m. ET) – 7.3 million viewers, up +38%
  • Telecast Window 2 (2:47-5:05 p.m.) –  10.3 million viewers, up +23%
  • Telecast Window 3 (5:00-9:25 p.m.) – 18.6 million viewers, up +38%, making it the most-watched for this game window since 1991 when the tournament expanded to its current television format.
  • Telecast Window 4 (7:53-11:51 p.m.) – 11.3 million viewers, up +36%, making it the most-watched for this game window since the current television format with four networks debuted in 2011.

Linear TV Source:  Nielsen Media Research, based on Live + SD data stream, Fast Nationals for the 2017 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, to-date through Round 2 (03/14/17 – 03/19/2017), compared historical NCAA Tournament through 1991.
Digital Source: Conviva

-30-