[03/18/12 - 11:20 AM]
2012 NCAA Tournament Most-Watched in 18 Years
Turner Sports and CBS Sports spin the numbers for their NCAA coverage to date.

[via press release from CBS]

2012 NCAA(R) Division I Men's Basketball Championship on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTv Most-Watched Tournament in 18 Years

Saturday's 6.1 U.S. HH Rating +3% Over 2011

CBS Sports and Turners Sports' exclusive coverage of the 2012 NCAA(R) Division I Men's Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV is the most-watched tournament in 18 years.

This year's event is averaging a 5.3 U.S. HH rating through Saturday, up 4% compared with a 5.1 rating in 2011 and an increase of 15% over a 4.6 rating in 2010 (according to Nielsen Fast Nationals). The corresponding average of eight million viewers this year is +3% over last year's 7.8 million viewers and +14% compared with seven million viewers in 2010.

Saturday's coverage across the four networks delivered the highest-rated and most-watched first Saturday of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship since 2007. Yesterday's coverage averaged a 6.1 U.S. HH rating, +3% over last year's 5.9 rating and an increase of 13% over a 5.4 rating in 2010. The corresponding 9.3 million viewers were even with last year and +11% vs. 8.4 million viewers in 2010.

Source: Nielsen Media Research, based on Fast National Data, Live +SD data stream. 3/13-3/17/12 vs 3-15-3/19/11. 2011 and 2012 averages based on weighted average of 4 telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data. 2006 through 2012 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average of First Round.

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