With a 71-65 win over Gonzaga last night, North Carolina erased last year’s last-minute loss to Villanova. For the House of Moonves, the victory was even greater, with 22.99 million viewers tuning in, according to Nielsen data. That is up 30% compared to last year Villanova-North Carolina title game, which was on TBS for the first time. In 2015, the last time CBS aired the NCAA finale, 28.26 million viewers watched Duke beat Wisconsin.
Monday’s close game in Phoenix had drawn a 14.5/24 in meter market ratings, up a strong 21% from the 2016 championship game. That Villanova victory over the Tar Heels pulled in about 17.8 million viewers over three Turner nets in the 9-11 PM ET time period.
Wth a primetime win for CBS thanks to a 4.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.4 million viewers, last night’s win by North Carolina is third-best ratings result the championship game has seen since 2005. Monday’s game peaked in the demo with a 17.4/33 in the 11:30-11:45 PM ET slot, and in viewers with 26.105 million viewers from 11:15-11:30.
Overall, the 2017 NCAA Tournament coverage on CBS and the Turner networks averaged a 7.2/15 in MM results (tied for second-best in 12 years) and 10.827 million viewers on TV, digital and social platforms (up 16% from last year).
Here are the Top 5 markets in MM results for the North Carolina-Gonzaga game:
1. Raleigh-Durham – 33.8/52
2. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem – 31.7/47
3. Charlotte – 30.1/46
4. Seattle-Tacoma – 24.5/43
5. Louisville – 23.5/38
There were of course other things on the Big 4 last night, with most regular Monday programs slipping against NCAA basketball.
NBC’s The Voice (2.1 in adults 18-49) and Taken (0.9) were off by two tenths and one tenth, respectively, from their fast nationals last week. (The Voice was adjusted up a tenth in the finals last Monday). Similarly, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (1.5) and Quantico (0.6) also were down 0.2 and 0.1 week-to-week, respectively. Fox’s 24: Legacy (0.8) also inched down a tenth, while APB (0.6) held steady. The CW aired reruns.