Final Four scores for CBS

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NEW YORK -- Saturday's Final Four NCAA men's basketball doubleheader not only won the night convincingly for CBS, but its ratings also increased slightly compared with last year's doubleheader.

The telecasts averaged a 9.3 overnight household rating/18 share, according to preliminary ratings data released Sunday by Nielsen Media Research. That was up 3% from last year's 9.0/17.

The increases were due to the second game -- where UCLA fell to Florida -- that scored a 9.5/17 between 8:45-11 p.m. EDT, compared with last year's 8.5/15. CBS retreated a bit in the first game, where Ohio State beat Georgetown, which began at 6 p.m. EDT. That scored a 9.0/19, down from last year's 9.5/19.

The tournament is still up 2% over last year, averaging a 6.4/13 compared with last year's 6.3/13. It's the second-best numbers since 2002, CBS said.

Fast-national audiences for the games stayed relatively steady throughout the night, from 13 million at 8 p.m. for the Ohio State-Georgetown game to 12.9 million at 9 p.m. and 12 million at 10:30 p.m. It's likely the non-time-zone-adjusted ratings will increase when the final ratings come out later todayMonday, but even without the final ratings, CBS unquestionably won Saturday night against mostly repeats on the other networks.
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