CBS Sports & Turner Sports’ Coverage of 2017 NCAA Tournament Delivering Audience Increases Across All Platforms 

First Thursday Coverage is Third Most-Watched Since 1991 with Average of 8.2 Million Viewers

NCAA March Madness Live Generates All-Time Record with 31 Million Live Streams, Up +26% vs. 2016

Turner and CBS Sports’ 2017 NCAA Tournament coverage is delivering audience increases across all platforms.  Live game coverage across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, including the First Four and first Thursday games, is averaging 7.8 million viewers, up +5% from last year (7.4 million).  The networks’ coverage of the first Thursday averaged 8.2 million viewers, up +4% from last year (7.9 million viewers), and ranking as the third most-watched first Thursday since 1991.

The NCAA First Four airing on truTV (Tuesday and Wednesday) grossed 5.9 million viewers, up 12% over last year, ranking as the second most-viewed First Four coverage since the format was introduced in 2011.

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live (MML) has generated an all-time record 31 million live streams through the first Thursday of the tournament, an increase of +26% over last year.

Official March Madness social media handles generated 4.9 million social engagements across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram through Thursday, which is up +23% over the corresponding time period last year.

The combined networks’ coverage delivered increases in three game telecast windows:

  • Telecast Window 1 (12-4:10 p.m.) - 5.6 million viewers, up +4% and the second highest viewer average for this window since 1991
  • Telecast Window 2 (2:46-6:53 p.m.) – 7.4 million viewers, up +10% and the third highest viewer average in this window since 1991
  • Telecast Window 3 (6:38-9:57 p.m.) – 10.3 million viewers, up +3% and the fourth highest viewer average in this window since 1993

TV Source:  Nielsen Media Research, based on Live + SD data stream, Fast Nationals for the 2017 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, Day 1, Thursday, compared historical NCAA Tournament through 1991. Digital: Conviva

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Shekia Morant