CBS sees jump in national championship ratings... sort of

Even without the “blueblood” programs playing, CBS saw an increase in national championship ratings. Well, sort of.

The network announced Tuesday morning that Virginia’s thrilling overtime victory over Texas Tech Monday night generated a 12.4/22 rating, a sizable jump — 20 percent) from last year’s 10.3/18 that was generated by Villanova’s win over Michigan. But that game aired on TBS — a cable network in significantly fewer homes (read: millions) than CBS.

Monday night’s broadcast peaked with a 15.0/30 from 11:30-11:45 p.m., according to Nielsen. Despite the gains from 2018 to 2019, Monday night’s ratings fell short of the last time the title game aired on CBS. The 2017 national title game between Gonzaga and North Carolina drew a 14.5 household rating.

Had a household program like Duke, with freshman sensation Zion Williamson as the star, advanced to the title game, CBS would have likely seen a bigger number.

Nonetheless, the top markets for Monday night’s game were Richmond, Norfolk, Minneapolis, Louisville and Kansas City, CBS said.

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Virginia celebrates 2019 NCAA championship
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Virginia celebrates 2019 NCAA championship
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 08: Kyle Guy #5 of the Virginia Cavaliers celebrate his teams 85-77 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders to win the the 2019 NCAA men's Final Four National Championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Virginia's Kyle Guy (5) and his teammates celebrate after defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in the overtime in the championship of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Virginia players celebrates after defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in the overtime in the championship of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Players react after Virginia defeats Texas Tech 85-77 in the overtime in in the championship of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Texas Tech guard Brandone Francis reacts at the end of the championship game against Virginia in the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Texas Tech guard Kyler Edwards, left, reacts with teammate Deshawn Corprew at the end of the championship game against Virginia in the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett celebrates with fans after the championship game against Texas Tech in the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Virginia's Kyle Guy (5) and his teammates celebrate after defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in the overtime in the championship of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Virginia players celebrate after defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in the overtime in the championship of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Virginia's Ty Jerome (11) reacts after shooting a 3-point basket during the first half in the championship of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Texas Tech, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Virginia forward Mamadi Diakite celebrates while cutting down the net after the championship game against Texas Tech in the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime.(AP Photo/Matt York)
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett celebrates with his team after defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in the overtime in the championship of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Virginia forward Mamadi Diakite celebrates with fans after the championship game against Texas Tech in the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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On the whole, the network says its NCAA tournament ratings across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV were up 11 percent from last year while streaming numbers soared, including over 100 million live streams of “March Madness Live.”

“NCAA March Madness Live generated a record for last night’s NCAA Championship Game based on live uniques, with live streams and live hours consumed showing increases of 19% (live streams) and 7% (live hours consumed) vs. last year. MML also set all-time daily records in both live hours (eight times) and live streams (five times) throughout this year’s tournament,” CBS said.

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