Kentucky vs. Wisconsin is Most-Watched College Basketball Game Ever on Cable

By Chris Ariens 

The second of last night’s two Final Four games — Wisconsin’s upset of previously unbeaten Kentucky — delivered the highest rating for a college basketball game in the history of cable television and the highest rating for a Final Four game in 22 years (13.8/24 in 1993), and averaging 22.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen metered market ratings.

The game aired primarily on TBS, with secondary streams on TruTV and TNT. The collective coverage peaked with an average of 28.2 million total viewers from 11-11:15pmET. The telecast was up +48% over last year.

The doubleheader – including Duke beating Michigan State – averaged an 11.4/22 overnight rating/share, making it the highest average overnight rating in 20 years (11.6/22 in 1995).

CBS will carry the national championship between Duke and Wisconsin tomorrow night.

Just before the NCAA Tournament got underway, ADWEEK TV caught up with Jim Nantz, who called last night’s games. We asked what it takes to make to the Final Four… as a broadcaster.