According to CBS Sports and Turner, Saturday’s coverage of the NCAA Men’s Final Four garnered an average audience of 13.4 million viewers across all platforms. The 2018 Final Four broadcasts on TBS, TNT, truTV and NCAA March Madness Live were lower than 2017’s performance. Last year’s event televised by CBS had an average audience of 16.754 million viewers.
The broadcast peaked during the Loyola (IL.) vs. Michigan matchup with 18 million viewers from 8p-8:15p ET. Turner was not helped out by a disappointing second game which saw Villanova jump out to a 22-4 lead over Kansas, topping out with 14.6 million viewers during the first half from 9:30-9:45. Rather than having a close game to attract a larger audience in the second half, the non-competitive matchup saw ratings decline to 9.6 million viewers near the end of the game.
Turner previously televised the Championship Game in 2016, which averaged 17.752 million viewers. In comparison, CBS has not had a Championship Game audience below 20 million since 2009 in a matchup between UNC and Michigan State. TBS will look to improve on its 2016 number tonight at 9:20pm ET.