The opening weekend of the 2017 NCAA Tournament dominated television sets across the country and marked the competition’s best viewership since 1993, the NCAA announced on Monday.
Games played on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV drew in an average of 9,325,000 million viewers, which is 10 percent more than the opening weekend of last year’s tournament.
Much of that was sparked by the upsets of Duke and Louisville, both No. 2 seeds, on Sunday. In fact, Sunday’s games attracted 11.9 million viewers, which was a 34 percent increase from last year’s opening Sunday.
Chugging off the Sunday afternoon success, the primetime window became the most watched time slot for college basketball since the NCAA Tournament adopted it’s modern TV format in 1991. A total of 18.6 million viewers tuned in during that time.
With some surprise contenders like Xavier and South Carolina in the Sweet 16, expect this weekend’s slate of games to be heavily watched, as well.