That said, I found it interesting that, according to CBS, its Final Four ratings from Saturday were higher than last year's. I figured non-glamorous teams like Butler and West Virginia might not garner big numbers, but they did better than last year's, which featured marquee names like North Carolina, Michigan State, Villanova and (of course) UConn.
Here's CBS' press release:
CBS Sports’ coverage of the Final Four on Saturday earned an average overnight household rating/share of 9.7/19, up +8% from a 9.0/18 last year. The 9.7/19 is the highest average rating for the Final Four since a 10.9/19 in 2005.
The first game (6:00-8:30 PM, ET), with Butler beating Michigan State, earned an average overnight household rating/share of 9.4/20, up +8% versus an 8.7/18 in 2009 (Michigan St.-Connecticut). This 9.4/20 is the highest rating in the window since a 9.5/19 in 2006 (Florida-George Mason).
The second game (9:00-11:15 PM, ET), featuring Duke’s victory over West Virginia delivered a 10.0/18, up +8% from 9.3/17 last year (North Carolina-Villanova). This 10.0/18 is the best rating in the window since an 11.4/19 in 2005 (North Carolina-Michigan State).
CBS Sports’ overall average overnight household rating/share for the tournament-to-date is a 6.2/13, up +2% compared to last year’s 6.1/13.
Guess Nielsen families like underdogs like Butler.