Viewership of Saturday’s semifinal games in the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship was way off the pace of last year’s games.
Media Life reports that the first game, a blowout in which Villanova crushed Oklahoma 95-51 in a game that appeared to be decided by halftime, averaged just 10.5 million viewers, down 31% from last year’s first semifinal between Duke and Michigan State.
The report, which cites Nielsen data for coverage of the games on TBS, TNT and TruTV, notes that Saturday’s second game suffered an even bigger decline. North Carolina cruised into tonight’s championship game with an 83-66 win over Syracuse, delivering 12.9 million viewers. That number was down 43% from the Kentucky-Wisconsin game in 2015.
The numbers for both games were reportedly the lowest since 2003, when the semifinals still aired on CBS. Overall, viewership for March Madness, which set a 21-year high last year, is reportedly down 12% so far this year.