Post Type:news NCAA: First Week of Tourney is Most-Watched in 20 Years | Viamedia

Sunday’s action was fierce at the various sites around the country and viewers embraced the Madness, with Turner Sports and CBS Sports improving each of the four windows from last year, which helped make the first week of the 2013 NCAA Tournament the most-viewed since 1993. 

TBS, CBS, TNT and TruTV combined to average 8.9 million through five days of coverage through March 24, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals data. That was the most since 1993 and up 9% from last year’s 8.2 million. 

Sunday’s coverage — which included the high-flying tournament darlings, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, the first No. 15 seed to make in to the tourney’s Sweet 16 — averaged 11.1 million viewers, up 29% from last year’s 8.6 million, making it the most-watched first Sunday in 15 years. 

The 2013 NCAA Tournament averaged a 5.8 household rating and 12 share through Sunday, up 7% from a 5.4/12 last year. The 2013 version of March Madness marked the tournament’s best first week since 1998’s 5.9/15. 

On March 24, each of the four telecast windows grew from their 2012 counterpart’s, with the initial daytime window (noon (ET) to 2:41 p.m.) ahead 39% to a 5.0/12 from a 3.6/9, the best since a 5.2/13 in 2002. The second window (2:57 to 5:18 p.m.) rose 26% to a 6.8/14 average, 26% more than last year’s 5.4/12 and the highest rating for the period since a 7.0/16 in 2006. 

The first primetime telecast window from 5:18-9:20 p.m.averaged a 10.9/20, a 31% jump over last year’s 8.3/16, the top rating for the window in 20 years (12.6/27 in 1993). Finally, the second primetime window from 8:01 to 12:12 a.m,. averaged a 5.9/10, up 4% from a 5.7/9 in 2012 

Source: Multichannel News, 3/25/13