> and truTV is Most-Watched Tournament in 19 Years
> 2013 Championship Game Scores with Double-Digit Increases in rating
> and Viewers
> Louisvilles Win Delivers Rating/Share of 14.0/22 and 23.4 Million
> The 2013 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball National Championship across
> CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV is the most-watched NCAA Tournament in 19
> years, according to Nielsen. ?The 2013 NCAA Tournament averaged 10.7
> million total viewers, up 11% from last years 9.6 million viewers,
> and is the highest average for the NCAA Tournament in 19 years (11.2
> million; 1994).
> The National Championship game, which saw Louisville defeat Michigan
> on CBS on Monday, April 8, earned an average fast national household
> rating/share of 14.0/22, up 14% from last years 12.3/19
> (Kentucky-Kansas). ?The National Championship game averaged 23.4
> million viewers, up 12% from last years 20.9 million.
> The Championship game coverage peaked in HH rating/share with a
> 16.1/27 and average viewers with 27.1 million, from 11:00-11:30 PM,
> Coverage for the entire 2013 NCAA Tournament across Turner Sports and
> CBS Sports averaged a HH rating/share of 6.7/14, up 10% from last
> years 6.1/13, and is the highest average NCAA Tournament rating in
> eight years (6.9/15; 2005).
> Source: Nielsen Media Research, Live +SD data stream. 3/19/13 to
> 04/09/13 vs. 03/13/12 to 04/02/12. 2013, 2012 and 2011 averages based
> on weighted average of four telecast gross across CBS, TBS, TNT and
> truTV. Historical audiences, CBS 1991 through 2005 based on Live data.
> 2006 through 2012 based on Live + SD. 2003 based on CBS / ESPN average
> of First Round.
On the whole, CBS and Turner offer tremendous coverage of the
tournament. From airing every game on every channel, to the depth and
quality of announcers, to the production values. However, there's
definitely some areas CBS should think about tweaking ahead of the
2014 NCAA Tournament. Some of those suggested tweaks and other
thoughts on last night's coverage of Louisville's victory over
Michigan in 5 Takeaways from the National Championship Game...
1) The first area CBS needs to address is the studio. It isn't
Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith are fantastic, some of the best and
most entertaining in the business at Inside the NBA. I know many
readers find Doug Gottlieb grating, but I actually don't find him to
be the worst analyst on television. Having all of them on the CBS set
produced a jumbled, uninformed, argumentative mess that made CBS's
infamous Super Bowl blackout coverage look Emmy worthy. From Kenny
Smith mispronouncing names (Spike Allbright? Shane Buchanan?), to
Charles Barkley's obvious fatigue, to the panel arguing over Trey
Burke's foul trouble while Louisville was cutting down the nets, it
was a bad night for the studio.
So what should CBS and Turner do for next year? Move Kenny Smith and
Charles Barkley back to Inside the NBA where they excel. Their
moonlighting college basketball analyst days should come to an end.
Second, move Doug Gottlieb to the booth full time and have him team
with Kevin Harlan for two weekends of the tournament where his strong
opinions can take better hold. Finally, restore the studio team of
Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, and Seth Davis. They aren't flashy by any
means, but they get the job done. More networks are taking a "less is
more" approach with the studio. There's a reason. It actually works.
2) Another area that was crowded? The broadcast booth. Steve Kerr
and Clark Kellogg have shown good chemistry in the past, but last
night's game was played at such a high pace the competition for
airtime was even more dramatic. Way too often the two were
interrupting each other, finishing each other's points, or parroting
what was previously said. Kellogg in particular was criticized for
his wordiness. It also affected Jim Nantz's call as I thought he was
subdued once again and busy playing traffic cop after an energetic
performance Saturday night.
3) Speaking of Nantz, where was the inspired championship game call
last night? After Louisville's victory there were tons of solid punny
options on the table. A championship on the Cards, the title going to
a new Kentucky home, even a white smoke joke. And yet, Nantz's
signature line was, "Louisville completes the emotional journey to the
championship!" Talk about a letdown. You can hear the call in the
video below, thankfully Rick Pitino's pyrotechnics made up for it.
4) CBS should actually be commended for showing some restraint in the
amount of attention they paid to the storylines off the court last
night. The Fab Five was shown in the crowd once in the first half and
the Kevin Ware shots were kept to a minimum until it was obvious
Louisville would win. I had no problem with him being interviewed on
stage after the game or CBS sticking around for his cutting of the
net. I think the network knew it went overboard Saturday night when
the game was interrupting shots of Ware on the sideline. Last night
was much more appropriate and the focus stayed on the court where it
should have been.
5) With TBS reported to be taking over the Final Four next year and
beginning to alternate years with CBS, there very well could be
several changes put into place. You could see Ernie Johnson host the
studio coverage and Marv Albert call the Final Four (which would end
Jim Nantz's streak of 23 consecutive Final Four calls). Whatever
Turner Sports decides to do, they should focus more on playing to the
strengths of their announcers and analysts instead of trying to fit
square pegs into round holes. Whether that be sticking with Marv
Albert and Steve Kerr in the booth or allowing the CBS studio analysts
to take the reigns, it's time for the networks to start refining their
coverage versus throwing everyone they can at viewers.