CBS saw 14% decline in viewers for NCAA men’s basketball championship sport, while ratings for women’s title match on ESPN grew

MaCio Teague #31 of the Baylor Bears goes up for a basket in opposition to Drew Timme #2 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the National Championship sport of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 05, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Gonzaga’s likelihood at historical past was crushed in the ultimate sport of the 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball match, because the Bulldogs misplaced their first sport of the season to the Baylor Bears, and viewership suffered.

The 2021 NCAA men’s basketball championship sport attracted a mean of 16.9 million viewers to CBS Sports on Monday, a 14% decline from the 2019 sport. The 2020 contest was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Baylor prevented Gonzaga from going undefeated, beating the Bulldogs, 86-70. A win would have capped an ideal season for Gonzaga and can be the primary time a men’s program went undefeated because the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.

This yr’s sport was the least-watched championship aired on CBS because the community began broadcasting the video games in 1982. It’s additionally the bottom since WarnerMedia property Turner Sports aired the sport in 2018, after CBS and Turner started switching each different yr in 2016. That sport, between Villanova and the University of Michigan, drew roughly 16.5 million viewers.

CBS had about 19 million viewers for the championship sport between Virginia and Texas Tech in 2019. That was a decline from the 2017 sport it hosted that includes the University of North Carolina and Gonzaga, which attracted roughly 22 million viewers.

For the 2021 men’s Final Four video games, a mean of 14.9 million viewers watched Saturday’s Gonzaga-UCLA extra time buzzer-beater, and that sport peaked at 18.Eight million viewers. Baylor’s win over Houston had 8.1 million viewers, which is down 37% in contrast with the 2019 early semifinal contest.

Last month, John Bogusz, CBS Network govt vp of sports activities gross sales and advertising and marketing, acknowledged NCAA’s viewership decline in the course of the pandemic. He talked about the community had put aside additional advert stock for entrepreneurs ought to the community fail to fulfill viewership targets.

“We’ll wait and see how the games perform, but we have set aside a little bit of inventory to take care of our advertisers if need be,” Bogusz stated.

Lexie Hull #12 of the Stanford Cardinal blocks the shot of Aari McDonald #2 of the Arizona Wildcats in the championship sport of the NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament at Alamodome on April 4, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.

Ben Solomon | NCAA Photos | Getty Images

Viewership up for women’s sport

Disney-owned ESPN hosted the women’s match, held in San Antonio. On Tuesday, it stated the title sport between Arizona and Stanford attracted a mean of Four million viewers on Sunday, peaking at 5.9 million. The community stated it was the most-watched women’s contest since 2014.

Stanford beat the Wildcats, 54-53, to win its first NCAA women’s basketball title since 1992.

The community additionally reported stable numbers across the semifinal video games. Stanford’s victory over South Carolina drew a mean of 1.6 million viewers, while the University of Connecticut loss to Arizona had 2.6 million viewers, up 24% from the 2019 second semifinal contest.

Disney positioned six video games from the women’s match on its ABC community, marking the primary time a broadcast community carried video games from the women’s match since 1995, when CBS aired some contests.

The Iowa versus Connecticut contest on March 27 was the highest-rated of the video games, with 1.5 million viewers, adopted by the Michigan-Baylor sport, at 1.2 million. The community stated the Sweet 16 contests aired on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 averaged 918,000 viewers, which is up 67% from 2019.

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