March Madness viewership is all Net
EmptyMarch Madness is a little less mad this year than it's been in the past.
Ratings so far from the NCAA men's basketball tournament have been less than thrilling for CBS, which gives over a lot of its schedule and stands to make millions in TV advertising and online.
Four days and 15 telecasts into March Madness, CBS is averaging a 9% decline to a 4.8 household rating/11 share compared with the 5.3/12 it earned in last year's tournament. Thirteen broadcast windows on CBS had lower ratings; only two, on the afternoon of Good Friday, were up slightly. It's the first time that CBS has had first-round games on Good Friday, though for the Easter holiday CBS said HUT levels were down 11% compared with a year ago as well.
But it's not all bad news.
After a record-breaking first day, CBSSports.com's March Madness on Demand keeps setting new marks. Through the end of Saturday's games, there were 3.4 billion hours of video and audio streamed, up 24% over a year ago and more than the 2.7 million hours recorded for the tournament available online last year. There were 3.3 million daily unique visitors through Sunday, up 129% compared with a year ago.
Final consumption data for the first round of the tournament is available Tuesday.