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Television ratings down for NCAA title game on cable TV

April 10, 2018

Villanova University's comfortable victory over the University of Michigan in the NCAA men's basketball championship game may have been good for the blood pressure of the team's fans, but it wasn't good for television ratings.

The game was seen by 16 million viewers on TBS, TNT and Tru TV last week, the Nielsen company said. That's down sharply from the 23 million who saw the University of North Carolina beat Gonzaga University in the 2017 finals. The 30 percent drop is likely due to a combination of a relatively non-competitive game and its airing on a cable network instead of CBS, which showed last year's game.

Overall, the NCAA tourney averaged 9.7 million viewers for all of its games. That's down from 10.8 million last year, and perhaps a reflection of upsets knocking out many teams with a national following early. Two years ago, the games averaged 9.3 million viewers.

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