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Saturday, March 2, 2024

NCAA Men’s, Women’s Selection Shows Grab Bigger Audiences

  • Men’s bracket reveal averaged 5.1 million viewers.
  • Women’s Selection Show audience up 18%.
Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis on CBS Sports' NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Selection Show.
Mary Kouw/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

We’re a long way from the ritual cutting down of the nets. But strong television audiences for the NCAA’s 2023 Men and Women’s Basketball Tournament Selection Shows indicate viewer interest is high heading into March Madness.

Both one-hour Selection Shows grabbed higher TV audiences on Sunday night vs. last year.

CBS Sports and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ joint presentation of the Men’s Selection Show averaged 5.1 million viewers. 

That’s up 3% from last year’s program. It was the most-watched sports program for the week across any network.

The digital NCAA March Madness Live also grew, attracting its most unique users, hours watched, and video starts in four years.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Women’s Selection Show presentation averaged 1.27 million viewers. That’s up a strong 18% from last year. It was the most-watched since 2005. It also validated ESPN’s decision to shift the show from Monday nights to Sunday nights in 2022.

Mar 5, 2023; Greenville, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Zia Cooke (1) between Tennessee Lady Vols forward Karoline Striplin (11) and Tennessee Lady Vols guard Jordan Horston (25) in the first half at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

2023 Women’s March Madness Ad Inventory Sells Out

ESPN had filled all in-game sponsorship opportunities.
March 14, 2023

Starting with tonight’s First Four coverage, CBS and WBD Sports will show all 67 games of the Men’s Tournament across four TV networks – CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV – and March Madness Live. 

ESPN, meanwhile, will show all 67 games of the Women’s Tournament across multiple channels, including sister Disney broadcast network ABC. 

Viewership for last year’s Women’s Tournament rose 76%, according to ESPN.

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