NCAA Tournament Draws Best Ratings in 17 Years

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Combined network tune-in on CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV average a 7.3 household rating — up 14 percent year-to-year.

Third-round coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on Sunday afternoon delivered the tournament’s best metered-market ratings in 17 years. 

Combined network tune-in on CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV averaged a 7.3 household rating up 14% year-to-year for the highest rating for the first Sunday of the tournament in metered markets since 1998.
When final numbers are tallied, the NCAA will likely push CBS to a primetime ratings win for Sunday. As it now stands, the network averaged a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 10.9 million viewers overall from 7-11 p.m. with the game sliding CBS primetime by 19 minutes.
Fox’s animation block of The Simpsons, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and The Cleveland Show gave the net a 2.1 rating with 4.4 million viewers overall. NBC averaged a 1.9 rating with 6.3 million viewers overall while America’s Next Great Restaurant (1.2, 3.9 million) was down 14% week-to-week.
ABC averaged a 1.7 rating with 6.9 million viewers overall. The premiere of Shark Tank (1.9, 6.2 million) was up 27% compared to its last premiere in September 2009.