(Updated) Wisconsin-Kentucky draws 22.6M, most-viewed semi in 19 years + Michigan State-Duke


Update: combined viewership for Wisconsin-Kentucky was 22.6 million viewers across TBS, TNT and truTV. That’s way up versus the 16.25 million last year’s Kentucky-Wisconsin game averaged across the same three networks.  Duke’s win over Michigan State averaged million viewers, which was also up big versus the equivalent game last year (UConn-Florida) which averaged 11.65 million viewers.

The Wisconsin-Kentucky matchup was the most-watched semifinal in 19 years, and the 3 network average of 22.6 million was bigger than last year’s Kentucky/UConn final which averaged 21.2 million viewers on CBS.

Wisconsin ending Kentucky’s bid to be the first undefeated college team since 1979 drew the best overnight rating for a final four game in 22 years and was up 48% versus last year’s Kentucky-Wisconsin Final 4 matchup. Combined coverage peaked with a 16.4/30 household rating/share from 11-11:15p.

The game averaged a 13.3/24 overnight household rating/share across TBS and the “Team Stream” broadcasts on TNT and truTV. The combined rating across networks was a cable overnight rating for the men’s NCAA basketball tournament 

Earlier, Duke’s win over Michigan State averaged a 9.6/20 overnight household rating/share to combine for an average overnight rating of 11.4 between both games.

Here’s a table comparing this year’s semifinals to the ratings/viewership for the 2014 semis:

2015 NCAA Men’s Semis Net 2015 Overnight Rating 2015 Viewership (Millions) 2014 Overnight rating 2014 Viewership (Millions) 2014 NCAA Men’s Semis
Michigan St-Duke TBS  6.7 4.6 7.099 UConn-Florida
Duke Team Stream TNT  2.4 2.3 3.704 Florida Team Stream
Michigan State Team Stream truTV  0.5 0.5 0.851 UConn Team Stream
9.6  15.3 7.4 11.654
Wisconsin-Kentucky TBS  9.4 5.6 10.386 Kentucky-Wisconsin
Kentucky Team Stream TNT  3.1 2.6 4.300 Kentucky Team Stream
Wisconsin Team Stream truTV  0.8 0.8 1.564 Wisconsin Team Stream
13.3  22.6 9.0 16.250

We haven’t seen the breakout by network yet, but will update the table below when we do.

Overnight household rating = the live+same day DVR overnight metered-market household rating from the top 56 Nielsen television markets. The 56 markets (out of 210 total) account for about 70% of the US TV-viewing population. The  overnight household rating is  the percentage of the households that were tuned-in in those markets. 

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