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Even With 'Coronation' of Heavy Favorite Kentucky, NCAA Title Game Scores Higher Ratings TVWeek

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament favorite Kentucky won the title that was generally expected, beating Kansas 67-59 Monday night, but CBS was also a winner, with ratings rising from last year’s event.

Monday’s broadcast earned an average fast national household rating/share of 12.3/19, up 5% from last year’s 11.7/18 for Connecticut’s win over Butler, the network reported.

This year’s 12.3/19 is the second-best rating for the championship game in seven years, trailing only a 14.2/23 for Duke-Butler in 2010.

The network reported: “The National Championship game on CBS averaged 20.9 million viewers (Per 2+), up 4% from last year’s 20.1 million. This year’s 20.9 million was the second-highest viewer average for the Championship game in seven years (2005, 2010 – 23.9 million; UNC-Illinois, Duke-Butler).”

The network also noted: “Coverage across the four networks of TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV averaged a HH rating/share of 6.1/13 compared to last year’s 6.4/14 and 2010’s 6.0/13 according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. This year’s tournament averaged 9.6 million viewers compared to 10.2 million last year and 9.5 million in 2010.”