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March 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Once again demonstrating the power of live special-event programming to generate big ratings, the first four days of CBS’s coverage of the NCAA Basketball Tournament — often referred to as March Madness — have turned out to be the top TV draw since the telecasts began on Thursday, when the games attracted an average of 10.3 million viewers. On Friday and Saturday, nights when ratings for all networks ordinarily fall, the basketball telecasts held their own. On Friday, the telecast averaged 9.60 million viewers, peaking in the 9:00 p.m. half hour with 11.10 million. On Saturday, it averaged 9.60 million. Then on Sunday, an overrun into primetime during the 7:00 p.m. hour averaged 13.78 million. Thus far, March Madness ratings are up 13 percent over 2009.