NCAA Tournament National Championship Game Sinks to All-Time Ratings Low Across Turner Nets

March Madness finale was just a bad basketball game

Last Updated: April 3, 2018 @ 10:29 AM

Monday’s National Championship Game was not one for the ages — unless you’re a Villanova Wildcats fan, we suppose. Still, the Pennsylvania-based university’s win over the Michigan Wolverines struggled to an all-time TV ratings low across TBS, TNT and truTV combined.

The March Madness finale’s 10.3 overnight rating in the 56 metered markets was a whopping 29 percent lower than last year’s game, though that one ran on CBS. Still, the Turner-suite game was the No. 1 telecast on all of TV last night — yes, even beating “The Voice” and “American Idol.”

Turner and CBS rotate the Men’s National Championship Game each year.

Aside from the simply airing on the cable channels, which generally see lower tune-in than broadcast, Monday’s contest was historically low-rated due to the fact that it was just a bad basketball game. The 17-point final score differential tied for the biggest blowout since 1992.

And the lame game became pretty one-sided early on, which is reflected in these earliest-available Nielsen numbers. Peaking with an 11.5 overnight rating from 10-10:15 p.m. ET, the contest saw its final quarter-hour drop all the way to a 7. In other words, a bunch of casual college hoops viewers bailed by the end.

That’s not good for a sports event, and so neither were this one’s averages. We’ll get final numbers for the game — including total viewers — later this afternoon.