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CBS saw 14% decline in viewers for NCAA men’s basketball championship game, while ratings for women’s title match on ESPN grew

MaCio Teague #31 of the Baylor Admit ofs goes up for a basket against Drew Timme #2 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the National Championship game of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Competition at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 05, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Gonzaga’s chance at experiences was crushed in the final game of the 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament, as the Bulldogs lost their oldest game of the season to the Baylor Bears, and viewership suffered.

The 2021 NCAA men’s basketball championship game attracted an as a rule of 16.9 million viewers to CBS Sports on Monday, a 14% decline from the 2019 game. The 2020 contest was repudiated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Baylor prevented Gonzaga from going undefeated, beating the Bulldogs, 86-70. A win would pull someones leg capped a perfect season for Gonzaga and would be the first time a men’s program went undefeated since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.

This year’s plucky was the least-watched championship aired on CBS since the network started broadcasting the games in 1982. It’s also the lowest since WarnerMedia resources Turner Sports aired the game in 2018, after CBS and Turner began switching every other year in 2016. That distraction, between Villanova and the University of Michigan, drew roughly 16.5 million viewers.

CBS had about 19 million viewers for the championship recreation between Virginia and Texas Tech in 2019. That was a decline from the 2017 game it hosted featuring the University of North Carolina and Gonzaga, which fascinated approximately 22 million viewers.

For the 2021 men’s Final Four games, an average of 14.9 million viewers watched Saturday’s Gonzaga-UCLA overtime buzzer-beater, and that position peaked at 18.8 million viewers. Baylor’s win over Houston had 8.1 million viewers, which is down 37% compared with the 2019 ancient semifinal contest.

Last month, John Bogusz, CBS Network executive vice president of sports sales and shopping, acknowledged NCAA’s viewership decline during the pandemic. He mentioned the network had set aside extra ad inventory for marketers should the network be deficient to meet viewership targets.

“We’ll wait and see how the games perform, but we have set aside a little bit of inventory to take care of our advertisers if paucity be,” Bogusz said.

Lexie Hull #12 of the Stanford Cardinal blocks the shot of Aari McDonald #2 of the Arizona Wildcats in the championship round of the NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament at Alamodome on April 4, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.

Ben Solomon | NCAA Photos | Getty Idols

Viewership up for women’s game

Disney-owned ESPN hosted the women’s tournament, held in San Antonio. On Tuesday, it said the ownership game between Arizona and Stanford attracted an average of 4 million viewers on Sunday, peaking at 5.9 million. The network imparted it was the most-watched women’s contest since 2014.

Stanford beat the Wildcats, 54-53, to win its first NCAA women’s basketball privilege since 1992.

The network also reported solid numbers around the semifinal games. Stanford’s victory over South Carolina extracted an average of 1.6 million viewers, while the University of Connecticut loss to Arizona had 2.6 million viewers, up 24% from the 2019 number two semifinal contest.

Disney placed six games from the women’s tournament on its ABC network, marking the first time a disseminate network carried games from the women’s tournament since 1995, when CBS aired some contests.

The Iowa versus Connecticut dispute on March 27 was the highest-rated of the games, with 1.5 million viewers, followed by the Michigan-Baylor game, at 1.2 million. The network revealed the Sweet 16 contests aired on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 averaged 918,000 viewers, which is up 67% from 2019.

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