Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ exclusive coverage of last night’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Semifinal classic — North Carolina defeating Duke, 81-77 — airing across TBS, TNT and truTV produced the most-viewed NCAA Men’s Final Four telecast on any network since 2017 (North Carolina vs. Oregon on April 1, 2017). The UNC/Duke game delivered an average of 16.3 million viewers, based on total audience delivery, which projects to be the second most-viewed college basketball telecast in the history of cable television once out-of-home viewership is included. Based on tournament to date trends, out-of-home viewership is projected to be a lift of more than 10% to the final viewership totals.
In the earlier window, Kansas vs. Villanova delivered an average of 10.3 million viewers, based on total audience delivery (without out-of-home viewership being included), up 22% over Baylor’s blowout victory over Houston in 2021. Overall, last night’s two National Semifinal games averaged 13.5 million viewers based on total audience delivery (minus out-of-home audience), up 9% over last year.
To date, the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship is generating audience increases across all platforms vs. 2021.
NCAA March Madness Live produced multiple all-time marks for last night’s UNC/Duke game, with the largest audience and most minutes consumed for any single game in MML history. The NCAA Men’s Final Four produced records across streaming platforms, including a record-shattering 1.4 million concurrent streams during UNC/Duke. This year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament — through the Final Four round — has already generated the most live uniques for any full tournament in MML history.
Official NCAA Men’s March Madness social handles generated record engagement for Final Four content, a +36% increase vs. the previous Final Four all-time high. For the tournament to date, social engagements have seen a +63% lift compared to last year’s previous record.
Source: Linear: Based on Nielsen Fast Nationals from 4/2/2022, Live+ SD data stream. Total Audience based on linear data and live minute-level data streaming for March Madness Live and TNT.tv and TBS.com data from Conviva. Social data compiled by Sprinklr, CrowdTangle, Facebook Insights & Twitter Analytics