March Madness: Tourney Dunks Ratings, Streaming Records

Three rounds in, the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship continues to rack up multimedia platform records. 

Through Sunday, March 22, the linear coverage on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 6.7 overnight/14 share to stand as the highest ever mark for the event through its first Sunday, since the tournament expanded to its current television format in 1991.

Measured versus last, this year’s version of March of Madness was up 6% from a 6.3/14 last year, according to Nielsen metered market data.

This weekend’s third-round coverage on March 21-22 (pictured, Michigan State's toppling of the No. 2 East seed, Virginia) netted a 7.3/16, the best for an opening weekend of the NCAA tournament in 22 years and 7% higher than during the corresponding stage in 2014.

Digitally, NCAA March Madness Live has also generated a record-setting 54 million live video streams through Sunday, 7% increase more than last year. According to Conviva and Adobe Analytics,  NCAA March Madness Live generated more than 11 million live hours of video consumption through the first week of the tournament, up 8% from the same period a year ago.  

Socially, the NCAA tournament grossed a record 108 million total social impressions across Facebook and Twitter through Sunday, a 40% jump over 2014, according to Facebook Insights and Twitter for social analytics.