basketball-men-d1 flag | March 19, 2021

2021 NCAA First Four on TBS and truTV is Most-Watched Ever, Including Gross Audience of 7.6 Million Cross-Platform Viewers

The ultimate One Shining Moment, for all the years

TBS and truTV Telecasts Up 36% vs. 2019 with Double-Digit Growth Across All Key Demos


UCLA vs. Michigan State Sets NCAA First Four Record, Averaging Three Million Viewers


NCAA March Madness Live Sets All-Time Records with Double-Digit Increases Across the Board

Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship delivered several all-time milestones with last night’s First Four coverage, including a gross audience of 7.6 million viewers consuming the games across TBS, truTV, NCAA March Madness Live and TV Everywhere platforms.

Viewership for TBS and truTV’s live game coverage is up 36% vs. 2019’s comparable telecasts, with an average of 7.3 million viewers based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. Those numbers are projected to increase once Nielsen Out of Home delivery becomes available.

Last night’s NCAA First Four game telecasts airing on TBS and truTV generated an increase of 24% vs. the previous record audience in 2014. Live game coverage also garnered a double-digit increase among all key demographics (Men & People 18-34, 18-49 & 25-54).

Additional records include UCLA vs. Michigan State on TBS becoming the most-watched First Four game since the format was introduced in 2011, with an average of three million viewers. The telecast peaked with an average of 3.3 million viewers from 11-11:15 p.m. ET.

NCAA March Madness Live also set all-time marks for the NCAA First Four, with significant double-digit increases vs. 2019 in live streams, live hours and spanning all key performance metrics.


NCAA March Madness social accounts posted a 13% increase in engagements for First Four content vs. 2019.

Source:  Nielsen Media Research, based Live + SD Fast Nationals from 03/18/2021 compared year over year and to historical NCAA First Four comparisons.  Cross-Platform adds March Madness Live and Warner Media network TVE streaming Average Minute Audience derived from Conviva. Social based on CrowdTangle, Sprinklr, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics.

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