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March Madness Ratings Up Over Last Year

Live coverage of March Madness basketball on CBS and Turner networks TBS, TNT and TruTV is averaging a 6.7 household rating and 15 share in metered markets this year, up 8% over last year, according to Nielsen. This year’s figure is tied for third best through the regional finals in the past 26 years, the networks said.

Live streams and live hours are both up at least 30%, according to CBS and Turner.

Sunday’s Michigan State/Duke game produced the highest metered market delivery for the game window in 14 years at 10.5 with a 21 share.

Official March Madness social accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have produced a 117% increase in engagements versus last year.

Next up in the tournament are Auburn versus Virginia and Texas Tech versus Michigan State, both on CBS April 6. The winners face off for the championship April 8 in Minneapolis.

The final takes place on CBS. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and reporter Tracy Wolfson call the Final Four and national championship for the fifth consecutive year.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.