Press release from CBS Sports and Turner Sports, March 20, 2015:
CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive second round coverage of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV on Thursday, March 19, delivered the all-time highest rating for the first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament (since the tournament expanded to four telecast windows for the entire day in 1991). Thursday’s games averaged a 6.6/14 overnight ratings/share, up 10% compared with a 6.0/14 in 2014, according to Nielsen metered market ratings.
Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live delivered a record-setting first Thursday of tournament action with 22 million live video streams registering a 12% increase over last year.
Thursday’s television coverage, which made NCAA Tournament history with five games decided by one point, showed ratings growth among the telecast windows.
• The first daytime telecast window (12-4:30 p.m. ET) averaged a 4.6/15 to tie last year as the highest rating for the game window in 25 years.
• The second daytime telecast window (2:45-7:30 p.m.) averaged a 6.7/16 to garner the highest rating in for the game window since 1991. The telecast window is up 24% compared with a 5.5/14 in 2014.
• The first primetime telecast window (6:45-10:30 p.m.) averaged a 7.8/13 to register the highest rating for the game window in 25 years. The window surpassed a 7.7/15 in 2014.
• The second primetime window (9:15 p.m.-1:15 a.m.) averaged a 7.1/13 to deliver the highest rating for the game window in 25 years and a 15% increase over the same telecast window last year (6.2/12).
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Arianna, Live +SD data stream. 3/19/15 vs. 03/20/14. 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data. Conviva, Adobe Analytics for digital metrics.