NCAA Tournament

NCAA Tournament championship game was a ratings hit in Kansas City

UVA shakes off last year’s loss to 16 seed, wins national championship

A year ago, the Virginia men's basketball team was reeling after a loss to 16 seed UMBC. This year, they're national championship.
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A year ago, the Virginia men's basketball team was reeling after a loss to 16 seed UMBC. This year, they're national championship.

Kansas City’s fondness for college basketball, topped with a bit of love for Chiefs stars Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, meant big television ratings for CBS.

CBS Sports and Turner Sports announced that Virginia’s 85-77 win Monday over Texas Tech in overtime of the NCAA Tournament championship game drew a 12.4 household rating and 22 share based on Nielsen ratings.

Unsurprisingly, the markets in Virginia delivered the biggest numbers.

Richmond was No. 1 in the country (31.3/48), followed by Norfolk (23.4/39) and Minneapolis (23.3/41), which played host to the Final Four. Louisville (23.2/37) was fourth and Kansas City (21.1/36) fifth.

While the national rating was a 20 percent increase from 2018 (10.3/18), last year’s game was on cable network TBS.

Viewership of the title game has decreased the last two times it has been on CBS. In 2017, North Carolina-Gonzaga had a 13.2 rating, while the 2015 title game between Duke and Wisconsin had a 16.0 rating.

Monday night’s ratings peaked from 10:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. (15.0/30), when the game was in overtime.

The ratings for the entire NCAA Tournament, which was broadcast on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, increased 11% from a year ago from 6.4/14 to 7.1/15.

CBS and Turner announced that the NCAA March Madness Live app/website set tournament records for live streams (more than 100 million) and live hours (more than 24 million).

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From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.
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