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NCAA Tournament has most-watched 1st Round on Record

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  • NCAA Tournament has most-watched 1st Round on Record

    The Men’s NCAA Tournament had its most-watched first round on record on Thursday and Friday, with CBS, truTV, TBS and TNT averaging 9.2 million viewers (the combination of four windows each day). Friday was the best First Round on record with an average of 9.3 million across the four windows during the day on the four networks. In early primetime on Friday, highlighted by No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson’s upset of No. 1 Purdue and the Kentucky-Providence game, the window averaged 11.7 million viewers, which is the best mark yet for that window. Thursday averaged 8.35 million viewers for all windows, the best first day in eight years (tied with the Zion Williamson-fueled run in 2019).

    Thursday was up 2% from 2022. The early afternoon window on Thursday averaged 6.8 million across the combo of TNT, TBS, CBS and truTV, marking the best figure for that window on record and up 15% from last year. For individual games on Thursday, CBS’ Tennessee-Louisiana was the best matchup in the 9:40pm ET window, averaging 3.48 million. On cable on Thursday, TNT’s Auburn-Iowa in the 6:42pm window was tops with 3.44 million.