NCAA Tournament Ratings Jump For CBS Over First Friday Of 2015, ‘Dateline’ Up


A 70-63 win over the Michigan Wolverines just a day after St. Patrick’s was a very nice start to this year’s NCAA Tournament for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. With overall adult 18-49 fast affiliate ratings of 1.8/6 and viewership of 5.7 million, the game was also a nice Day 2 of the tourney for CBS who saw less than stellar results earlier with blowouts for both Kentucky and Indiana on the March 17 holiday itself. Obviously not such a great Friday for the West Virginia Mountaineers after the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks beat them 70-56.

Compared to Thursday’s NCAA results, CBS was up 63% overall among adults 18-49 and had a rise of 55% in total viewership. A big reversal of last year’s NCAA when the net saw double digit drops from the first Thursday to the first Friday of the tournament. Compared to the first Friday of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, CBS was up 50% in demo results fast affiliate to fast affiliate. Viewership-wise, last night’s games were up 50% over the results of March 20, 2015.

CBS won the night in the key demo but ABC took the most watched spot in the early numbers with 6.01 million viewers. The demo difference over Night 1 of the NCAA undoubtedly makes that close viewership loss easier to bare for the House of Moonves, even though it usually tops viewership on Fridays. Like last year, the NCAA games are being seen on multiple outlets besides CBS with everyone gnawing a bit into everyone else’s numbers. TNT, TBS and TruTV are on the court with games of their own, and the games are being streamed on the Association’s website. Thursday’s final NCAA numbers saw some downward adjustments so it’ll be interesting to see how Friday’s results play out.

Even with the NCAA competition, the Disney-owned net saw comedies Last Man Standing (1.2/5) and Dr. Ken (1.0/4) bop up 9% and 11% respectively off season lows. At 9 PM, Shark Tank (1.4/5) rose 8% in the key demo from its March 11 show. Diane Sawyer’s big ticket 1-on-1 with Kate del Castillo, the actress who facilitated the infamous meet-up between Sean Penn and El Chapo didn’t see a surge for 20/20 (1.2/4) but the news mag did have a 9% uptick over last week.

Grimm (0.9/3) and Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon (0.7/3) were even with their March 11 shows for NBC while the 10 PM Dateline (1.0/4) was up 11% to hit a 3-week best. Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (0.8/3) and Second Chance (0.5/2) were the same as their March 11 results. The CW was all encores last night.

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