TBS Rides ‘March Madness’ to Weekly Ratings Win

Record-breaking ratings performances from shows on TBS and AMC helped the networks finish at the top of the primetime weekly ratings charts, according to Nielsen.

TBS, boosted by a network ratings high 14.7 million viewers generated for its March 28 Kentucky/Notre Dame Men’s college basketball tournament telecast, averaged 4.6 million viewers to finish first among all cable networks for the week of March 23 to March 29, according to Nielsen.

AMC, fresh off ‘The Walking Dead’s record 15.8 million viewers for the zombie-themed show’s March 29 season five final episode, finished the week in second place with 2.1 million viewers. USA and Fox News tied for third with 1.71 million viewers, while HGTV pulled into fifth place with 1.51 million viewers.

Disney Channel (1.5 million viewers); History (1.41 million);  TNT (1.14 million) Discovery Channel (1.13 million) and Adult Swim (1.06 million) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week.

On a 24-hour basis, Nickelodeon barely held off TBS (1.34 million viewers to 1.33 million) to finish first in the demo. Next up were Adult Swim (1.17 million); Fox News and Disney Channel (tied with 1.1 million).

Top Shows For the Week Of March 23-March 29

DateProgramNetworkTotal Viewers

3/39       The Walking Dead                                                                        AMC                                    15.7 million

3/28       Kentucky/Notre Dame NCAA College Basketball                         TBS                                     14.7 million

3/28       NCAA College Basketball Show                                                    TBS                                    10.8  million

3/28       Arizona/Wisconsin NCAA College Basketball                               TBS                                       8.8 million

3/29       Talking Dead                                                                                  AMC                                       7.5 million

3/26       North Carolina/Wisconsin NCAA College Basketball                     TBS                                        6.8 million

3/28       NCAA College Basketball Post-Game Show                                 TBS                                         5.3 million

3/27       NCAA College Basketball Post-Game Show                                 TBS                                         5.1 million

3/26       Xavier/Arizona NCAA College Basketball                                      TBS                                         4.5 million

3/27       Michigan State/Oklahoma NCAA College Basketball                    TBS                                         4.4 million

Source: Nielsen

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.