(Credit: Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

March Madness Partners Mark Most Watched First Sunday in 24 Years 

CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged 11.9 million viewers Sunday

NCAA championship coverage across partner networks CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged 11.9 million viewers Sunday, March 19, up 34% from last year (8.9 million). That made it the most-watched first Sunday in 24 years.

Overall, tournament action is averaging 9.325 million viewers, up 10% from 2016 (8.513 million).

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live (MML) has generated a record 69.1 million live streams through the first Sunday of the tournament, an increase of 24% over last year. NCAA Tournament games garnering the most live streams to date include Notre Dame vs. Princeton (5.4 million streams), Virginia vs. UNC-Wilmington (4.3 million streams) and Michigan vs. Oklahoma State (4.2 million streams). 

Official March Madness social media handles generated 26 million social engagements across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram through Sunday, up 20% over the corresponding time period last year.

The networks' coverage delivered significant increases versus a year ago in all four game telecast windows on Sunday.  

The 12:00-2:29 p.m. slot had 7.3 million viewers, up 38%. 

The 2:47-5:05 p.m. slot saw 10.3 million viewers, up 23%. 

The 5:05-9:25p.m. window had 18.6 million viewers, up 38%, making it the most-watched for this game window since 1991. 

And the 7:53-11:51 p.m. window drew 11.3 million viewers, up 36%, making it the most-watched for this game window since the current television format with four networks debuted in 2011.