Television ratings down for NCAA finals on cable TV
NEW YORK — Villanova’s comfortable victory over Michigan in the NCAA men’s basketball final may have been good for the blood pressure of the team’s fans, but it wasn’t good for television ratings.
The game was seen by 16 million viewers on TBS, TNT and Tru TV last week, the Nielsen company said. That’s down sharply from the 23 million who saw North Carolina beat Gonzaga in the 2017 finals. The 30 percent drop is likely due to a combination of a relatively non-competitive game and its airing on a cable network instead of CBS, which showed last year’s game.
Overall, the NCAA tourney averaged 9.7 million viewers for all of its games. That’s down from 10.8 million last year, and perhaps a reflection of upsets knocking out many teams with a national following early. Two years ago, the games averaged 9.3 million viewers.
For the broadcast networks, it was another week on top for “Roseanne.” ABC’s reboot of the comedy series starring Roseanne Barr was seen by 15.4 million viewers last week, its second new episode.
CBS easily won the week in prime time, averaging 7.3 million viewers. NBC (4.82 million) and ABC (4.81 million) finished in a virtual tie for second. Fox had 2.3 million viewers, Univision had 1.6 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 910,000.
TBS was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.45 million viewers in prime time. Fox News Channel had 2.01 million, MSNBC had 1.67 million, HGTV had 1.51 million and TNT had 1.31 million.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.3 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 7.8 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.2 million.
For the week of April 2-8, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “Roseanne,” ABC, 15.4 million; NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Michigan vs Villanova, TBS, 13.33 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 13 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 12.23 million; “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 11.66 million; “Bull,” CBS, 11.03 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.98 million; “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 10.03 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 9.5 million; “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 8.75 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.