Press release from CBS Sports and Turner Sports, March 22, 2015:
The 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship continues to deliver record-setting audience totals across all multimedia platforms. Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ exclusive third-round coverage on Saturday, March 21 generated the all-time highest rating for the first Saturday of the NCAA Tournament (since the tournament expanded to four telecast windows for the entire day in 1991). Saturday’s games averaged a 7.4/17 overnight rating/share, up 14% compared to a 6.5/14 in 2014, according to Nielsen metered market ratings.
The NCAA Tournament-to-date across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is averaging a 6.5/14 overnight rating/share, the highest-ever rating for the event through the first Saturday (in the current television format).
NCAA March Madness Live has also delivered a record-setting 47 million live video streams through Saturday, a 7% increase over last year.
Saturday’s television coverage generated several all-time records and significant audience growth.
• The second daytime telecast window (2:45-5:15 p.m.) averaged a 6.7/16 to garner the highest rating for the game window since 2007. The telecast window is up 29% compared to a 5.2/12 in 2014.
• The first primetime telecast window (5:15-9:45 p.m.) averaged a 10.3/23 to register the highest rating for the game window of all-time (in the current television format). The telecast window is up 20% over an 8.6/19 in 2014.
• The second primetime window (7:45 p.m.-12:30 a.m.) averaged an 8.9/17 to tie 1993 as the highest rating for the game window of all-time (in the current television format). It marked a 9% increase over the same telecast window last year (8.2/15).
Additionally, the NCAA Tournament has grossed a record 82 million total social impressions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram through Saturday for a 35% increase over 2014.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Arianna, Live +SD data stream. 3/17/15 – 3/21/15 vs. 3/18/15 – 3/22/15. 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. Facebook Insights and Twitter for social analytics.