Saturday’s CBS coverage of the two semifinal games in the “March Madness” NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament attracted about the same viewership as last year’s games, TV Guide reported. The two games averaged 15.4 million total viewers.
Mike Aresco, CBS Sports executive vice president for programming, noted in a statement that the figures for 2010 were the best in five years and said the network was happy with the results. "We are excited about the championship game, which features two of the most remarkable stories of the season in Connecticut and Butler," he said.
Saturday’s first game, pitting Butler against Virginia Commonwealth, averaged 14.2 million viewers. Game two, between Connecticut and Kentucky, averaged 16.7 million.
The tournament as a whole, which has been aired on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV, has averaged 9.9 million viewers, an increase of 10% over last year’s average of 9 million, when the coverage was exclusively on CBS.
The final game, the championship game, airs tonight on CBS at 9 p.m. ET.