The first four days of the NCAA tournament didn’t feature any buzzer-beaters, but they were the most-watched first two rounds of the tournament since Chris Webber and Michigan’s Fab Five began their march to a second consecutive championship game in 1993.
According to NCAA.com, an average of 9.3 million viewers watched NCAA tournament coverage across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV through Sunday, which is a 10 percent increase over last year. Live coverage of Sunday’s eight second-round games, including South Carolina’s upset of second-seeded Duke, averaged 11.9 million viewers, a 34 percent increase over last year.
Sports Business Journal reports that CBS and Turner combined for a 7.8 overnight rating Sunday, the best first Sunday of the tournament since 1993. In addition to Duke, traditional powers Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and UCLA were all in action on the final day of the second round.
Live streams on NCAA March Madness Live were also up 24 percent over last year through the first Sunday. NCAA.com reports that the most-streamed games to date this tournament include Notre Dame vs. Princeton, Virginia vs. UNC-Wilmington and Michigan vs. Oklahoma State. All three of those games tipped off before 1 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday.