March Madness: Tourney Nets Most-Viewed First Friday In 23 Years

With the upsets continuing to mount, CBS Sports and Turner Sports scored with their presentations of second-round coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, netting the tourney’s  most-viewed opening Friday in 23 years.

TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 5.7 rating and 8.4 million viewers on Friday, March 21, up 4% from 8.1 million viewers on the comparable day during the 2013 event, according to Nielsen fast nationals data. March Madness fans were drawn by Mercer’s upset of Duke and Stephen F. Austin’s improbable comeback versus VCU.

Through its first four days, the 2014 tourney averaged 8.2 million total viewers, 6% more than last year’s 7.7 million total viewers. The delivery marks the most-viewed start to the tournament since 1991, when the event expanded to four telecast windows for the entire day.  From March 18-21, the tournament scored a 5.5 rating.

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