Ratings Roundup: March Madness Even with Last Year, PGA Continues Hot Streak

March Madness is proving to be equally as Mad as last season – but no more, at least according to the ratings. Coverage of the NCAA Tournament averaged a combined 5.6 U.S. rating on CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV through Sunday, even with last year (5.6). However, that number is up 17% from 2010 when the tournament aired solely on CBS (4.8)…

…Final round coverage of the PGA Tour WGC-Cadillac Championship drew a 2.8 final rating and 4.139 million viewers on NBC March 11, up 22% in ratings and 25% in viewership from last year (2.3, 3.316M). This marks the highest-rated and most-viewed final round of the tournament in three years (2009: 3.4, 4.865M). Overall, nine of the first 13 PGA Tour telecasts on broadcast this season (excludes the third round of the Northern Trust Open) – and sixth straight – to have had double-digit increases in ratings and viewership compared to last year….

…Through 12 weeks of NBA TV’s 2011-12 regular-season schedule, NBA TV continues to flourish as three of this season’s games among NBA TV’s top five most-watched games ever. NBA TV is averaging 348,000 total viewers (+36 %) and 272,000 households (+36%) through 68 games…

…Monday night’s Rangers/Devils game on NBC Sports Network drew a 1.94 HH rating in New York, marking the highest numbers ever for the market for a regular-season game on the channel. Locally, that rating was up 30% over the same matchup earlier this year. On a national scope, the game pulled a .36 HH rating. Meanwhile, Sunday’s Penguins/Flyers faceoff on NBC (Sidney Crosby’s first appearance on the network since returning from injury) generated a 1.0 overnight rating, up 43 percent from last year’s comparable coverage…

The network’s MLS coverage is also seeing success, as Philly/Colorado game drew 145,000 viewers while the entire block of MLS programming, including pre-game and post-game coverage scored 124,000 viewers for a 51% rise over week one. Game viewership peaked with 211,000 viewers in the 5:30-5:43p quarter hour.

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