March Madness: Tournament ratings up after most-watched Elite Eight Sunday in 5 years

North Carolina State's Michael O'Connell (12) reacts after a basket by DJ Burns Jr. (30) against Duke during the second half of an Elite Eight college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Dallas, Sunday, March 31, 2024. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Elite Eight game between NC State and Duke produced the largest audience for an Easter Sunday telecast on any network in 11 years.

The Wolfpack's 76-64 victory over the Blue Devils in the South Region final averaged 15.1 million viewers on CBS, according to Nielsen. The 2013 Elite Eight game between Duke and Louisville averaged 15.6 million.

Overall, the NCAA Tournament is averaging 9.4 million viewers on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, a 4% increase over last year.

Sunday's first game between Purdue and Tennessee averaged 10.4 million, making it the most-watched early regional final in five years.

Sunday's viewer average of 12.8 million is a 30% increase over last year, and the most-watched Elite Eight doubleheader since 2019.

Thursday and Friday's Sweet 16 games on CBS, TBS and truTV averaged 10.3 million, up 5% from 2023.

Alabama's victory over North Carolina on Thursday night on CBS was the most-watched regional semifinal game, with a 7.8 million viewer average. Duke's win over Houston on Friday night drew 7.3 million on CBS.


AP March Madness bracket: and coverage: