NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Delivers Lowest Rating in History

Apr 3, 2018  •  Post A Comment

“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.”


  1. Why wasn’t this game on CBS?

  2. I know a lot of people didn’t know it was on TBS. Also, a lot of people out here in the West set it up to record for when they got home from work. Doing a simple search many of them got the team coverage instead of the National Coverage for their recording. I know that they were quick to shut it off once it was clear they had biased coverage. I know that this was an issue throughout the final four. People had trouble finding the game. These average sports fans are the ones that can raise the ratings. But they have to know where to find the game.

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