<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-P36XLWQ" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

March Madness final slumps to 14.7m viewers on CBS

The UConn Huskies win over San Diego State Aztecs reaches lowest all-time audience for NCAA men's basketball final.

5 April 2023 Rory Jones

Getty Images

The University of Connecticut’s March Madness final win over San Diego State University reached 14.7 million domestic viewers on the CBS commercial network.


  • Figure marks the lowest all-time audience for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball final
  • Game aired on CBS linear channel and the Paramount+ streaming service
  • The men’s ‘Final Four’ also saw a decline in audiences against 2022, averaging 12.34 million viewers on CBS, down 17 per cent from last year on Warner Bros Discovery’s TBS, TNT and TruTV channels
  • The Aztecs win over Florida Atlantic scored 11.9 million viewers, up two per cent in terms of viewership from the equivalent game last year (11.7 million), with a peak of 17.19 million viewers
  • Later in the night, the UConn’s rout of the University of Miami averaged 12.85 million viewers down 27 per cent from last year’s matchup in the same slot last year
  • For the entirety of March Madness, audiences were down seven per cent compared to 2022, according to the Sports Business Journal (SBJ)
  • The US-based industry publication says the March Madness Live streaming platform scored a new high for average watch time, up 20 per cent year-over-year (YoY) 


In direct contrast to the record-breaking women’s final, the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball title game brought in its lowest ever broadcast audience, coming in under the 15.97 million who watched the 2018 final between Villanova University and the University of Michigan. However, given the teams involved, the drop in viewers was partially expected after 2022 saw two powerhouse schools meet as the University of Kansas’ beat the University of North Carolina (UNC) with an average of 18.1 million viewers tuning in across Turner’s channels to set new a record for the March Madness final. Despite the drop-off in viewership for this year’s men’s basketball final, UConn’s 76-59 win still delivered a larger audience than any of last year’s National Basketball Association (NBA) final series games.

Coming next:

After the final stages of this 2023 men’s March Madness saw a decrease in viewership, it will be up to Warner Bros Discovery to see if they can do a better job of driving viewers to Turner’s platforms when that network picks up the baton for the Final Four and title game.

1 / 2news articles read

Enjoying SportsPro content? Create your account and get enhanced access to all the latest stories.


Already have an account?