North Carolina-Duke Draws Most Final Four Viewers Since 2017

RJ Davis #4 of the North Carolina Tar Heels drives against Jeremy Roach #3 of the Duke Blue Devils during the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four at Caesars Superdome on April 2, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
(Image credit: Lance King/Getty Images)

Coverage of North Carolina’s victory over Duke Saturday drew the most viewers to a NCAA Men’s Final Four telecast on any network since 2017.

The game delivered an average of 16.3 million viewers on TBS, TNT and truTV, also making it the second most viewed college basketball telecast in the history of cable TV once out-of-home viewership is included, Turner Sports said, projecting an addition of 10% when the final viewership totals are tabulated.

Also: March Madness Sold Out With Record Ad Revenue for CBS, Turner

The earlier game on Saturday, with Kansas topping Villanova, delivered 10.3 million viewers, up 22% from the 2021 early semifinal. 

The two games averaged 13.5 million viewers, up 9% from last year's March Madness.

The online app NCAA March Madness Live registered its largest audience ever and the most minutes consumed in its history. It generated 1.4 million concurrent streams during the Tar Heels' win over the Blue Demons. 

This year’s tournament has already drawn the most live uniques for any March Madness tournament. 

Engagement with official NCAA Men’s March Madness social media handles are up 36% versus the previous Final Four record and up 63% for the entire tournament. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.