The second-to-last round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament took place over the weekend. The Baylor Bears and Gonzaga Bulldogs came in hot and won their respective games, placing them head-to-head in the championship game.

Let’s check if the tune-in for the games were as strong as both teams’ winning strategy.

Baylor Bears win the game and the tune-in battle

final-four-share-of-voice-by-network-game-1 Gonzaga Bulldogs take the lead for CBS


Both games resulted in the highest share of voice for CBS at 7.40% and 10.85% for the Houston vs Baylor and UCLA vs Gonzaga games respectively. Gonzaga games have been highly watched and their Final Four game was very close, resulting in a higher share of voice. The winning 3-point shot was hit just as the buzzer to end the game went off. CBS has been leading the share of active viewership when telecasting March Madness games.

CBS held on to viewers for the first and second game

final-four-audience-flow-game-1 final-four-audience-flow-game-2

Nearly 30% of viewers who watched the first game, stayed tuned in to CBS for the second game. At the end of the second game, CBS retained 28% of viewers.

Insurance companies dominate the Final Four ad market


2019 has a higher tune-in than 2020 for most games

march madness tune in by event

One of the first hybrid (in-person) sporting events for 2021, after a year of no live sports, the First Four games of March Madness 2021, saw a higher tune-in than 2019. However, for the remaining games, 2019 continued to be in the top spot.