“Monday night’s NCAA championship game, which saw Villanova crush Michigan 79-62, drew the lowest overnight rating in the history of the tournament,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. “Across TBS, TNT and TruTV, the tournament’s championship game earned a 10.3 overnight rating, according to Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand. The previous low for a NCAA championship game was the 11.2 rating pulled in during the 2004 NCAA contest between UConn and Georgia Tech.”
The report notes that Detroit, the country’s 14th-largest TV market, edged Philadelphia, the fourth-largest market — where Villanova is located — for the best ratings in the country. The game delivered a 21.4 in Detroit to a 21.2 in Philadelphia, according to Sports Business Daily’s Austin Karp.
By comparison, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl win in February delivered a 56.2 rating.
“As pointed out by Sports Media Watch, the Villanova-Michigan final was barely even the highest-rated game of this year’s NCAA tournament, just edging out the 10.1 rating CBS drew for Kansas’ 85-81 overtime win over Duke in the Midwest Regional final,” the Inquirer notes.
The report adds: “This year’s ratings represent a 14-percent drop from Villanova’s buzzer-beating win in the 2016 NCAA championship over North Carolina, which also aired across the three Turner networks. It’s also a 29-percent drop from North Carolina’s 71-65 win over Gonzaga in the 2017 championship game, which aired on CBS and pulled in a 14.5 rating.”