Despite three of the four contests resulting in double-digit differences, CBS Sports and Turner Sports scored 4% gain with their Thursday night coverage of Sweet 16 action.
TBS and CBS, which each aired a pair of games, averaged 10.4 million viewers with their NCAA tournament coverage on March 28, 4% more than the corresponding night of the 2012 event. The games, highlighted by Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross sinking a three-pointer with two seconds left to lift the Buckeyes over Arizona, 73-70, averaged a 6.7 U.S. household rating and 12 share, up 3% from a 6.5/12 the prior year.
Through March 28, the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship across TBS, CBS, TNT and TruTV averaged 9 million total viewers, an increase of 8% from last year's 8.3 million viewers. That ranks as the highest average for the NCAA Tournament through the Thursday regional semifinals since 10.2 million in 1993.
To date, the tourney posted a 5.9/12, up 7% from last year's 5.5/12, and the best rating in 15 years, since 1998's 6.1/14.
The rest of the Elite Eight field will be determined Friday night with Louisville-Oregon and Duke-Michigan State on CBS at 7:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., respectively. TBS, meanwhile, will toss it up with Kansas-Michigan at 7:47 p.m. and Florida versus upstart Florida Gulf Coast at 9:57 p.m.