NCAA Championship Game Jumps 12% to 23.4 Million Viewers

With over 23 million tuning in the National Championship Game, CBS Sports and Turner Sports finished the 2013 version of March Madness with the college basketball tournament's highest average audience since 1994.

CBS’s April 8 telecast of Louisville’s 82-76 triumph over Michigan in the title tilt averaged a 14.0 rating/22 share, up 14% from last year’s Kentucky-Kansas contest, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals data. The exciting affair drew 23.4 million watchers on average, up 12% from last year’s 20.9 million. The championship game audience peaked with a 16.1/27 and 27.1 million, from 11 p.m.-11:30 p.m. (ET).

All told, CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV’s combined presentation of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship averaged 10.7 million viewers, 11% more than in 2012 and the most since the 1994 tourney averaged 11.2 million watchers.

Coverage for the entire 2013 NCAA Tournament across Turner Sports and CBS Sports averaged a 6.7/14, up 10% from last year’s 6.1/13, the event’s best rating since a 6.9/15 in 2005.