Updated: 3:30 p.m. ET
Coverage of the second round of the 2011 NCAA Division I
Men's Basketball Championship on Thursday on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV combined
for an overnight 5.0 household rating/12.2 share, according to Nielsen fast nationals.
That is up 19% from 2010's Thursday coverage, which earned a
4.6/11, but keep in mind last year's games aired exclusively on CBS. The four networks averaged 7.4 million total viewers, up 16% over CBS Sports' 2010 viewership.
It was the most-watched first Thursday of the tournament since 1991, when the telecast expanded to four coverage windows throughout the day.
Each of the Thursday telecast windows was improved over last
year as well in the expansion to four networks. The first window (12-4:15 p.m.
ET) was up 36% to a 3.8, the second (3-6:45 p.m. ET) was up 47% to a 4.4, the
third (7-9:45 p.m. ET was up 2% to a 5.8 and the fourth (9:15 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
ET) was up 5% to a 5.9.