Press release from CBS Sports and Turner Sports, March 27, 2015:
The 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship continues to deliver record-setting numbers across multimedia platforms. CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of the Regional Semifinals on Thursday, March 26, generated the highest rating ever for the Sweet 16 Thursday of the NCAA Tournament (since the tournament began its current television format in 1991). Thursday’s games averaged a 9.1/16 overnight rating/share, up 30% compared to a 7.0/13 in 2014, based on Nielsen metered market ratings.
Thursday’s coverage also generated record ratings in both telecast windows. TBS and CBS averaged a 9.3/17 overnight rating/share from 7-10 p.m. ET, the highest rating for the game window since 1991 and a 39% increase over last year. From 9:45 p.m.-12:45 a.m., the networks averaged an 8.9/16 overnight rating/share, tied with 1992 and 1993 as the highest rating for the game window since 1991 and a 20% increase compared to 2014.
The NCAA Tournament to date across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is averaging a 7.0/15 overnight rating/share, the highest–ever rating for the event through Thursday’s Regional Semifinals (in the current TV format), up 9% over 2014.
NCAA March Madness Live has also delivered a record-setting 59 million live video streams through Thursday, a 10% increase over last year. It has netted 12.5 million live hours of video consumption through the second Thursday of the tournament, an all-time record and 11% increase through the same period a year ago. Thursday’s Sweet 16 coverage led to a 59% increase among live video streams and a 53% spike in live hours of video consumption over the comparable period in 2014.
Additionally, the NCAA Tournament has grossed a record 134 million total social impressions across Facebook and Twitter through the second Thursday for a 46% increase over 2014.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Arianna, Live +SD data stream. 3/17/15 – 3/26/15 vs. 3/18/15 – 3/27/15. 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across TBS, CBS, 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.