NCAA Championship Game Suffers Historically Bad Ratings

AP Keith Srakocic
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The NCAA Final Four tournament featured a Cinderella team with a feisty nun, big named schools, and a record breaking MVP, but despite all that the series still saw lower ratings than last year’s games.

The Final Four should have been a big seller on TV. It had Chicago’s Loyola hitting the big time for the first time since 1963, for one thing. And as Loyola hit the championship they brought along an adorable 98-year-old nun named Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt to root for her favorite team from the sidelines.

But even with Monday’s Cinderella story game, Deadline Hollywood noted that “fans aren’t tuning in at the rate they did last year.”

“NCAA tournament television ratings are down about three percent from last year,” Deadline reported on Sunday.

Apparently, things didn’t get any better when Villanova took the final decision over Michigan on Monday night.

According to a tweet by SportsBusiness Daily’s Austin Karp, the ratings didn’t recover a whole lot.

“Villanova’s blowout win over Michigan delivered a 10.3 overnight rating across TBS/TNT/truTV. New low for an NCAA men’s title game,” Karp wrote. “Still won the night across ALL OF TV. Rating peaked 10pm ET (11.5), then got down to 7.0 in final 15 minutes. Detroit led markets with 21.4 rating.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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