March Madness Final Reached Over 23 Million Viewers

NCAA March Madness was a huge hit. According to numbers released yesterday by Turner Sports, the NCAA tournament generated a record-shattering 9 million live video streams, with 14 million hours of live video watched. That’s 168 percent more live streams and an impressive over 200 percent more live video hours watched than in 2012.

In a press release, Turner said that the average unique viewer on broadband viewed 105 minutes of live video – an increase of 8 percent over last year’s results.

The NCAA March Madness Live stream was a partnership between Turner and CBS Sports.

CBS has also released its numbers, stating that the final championship match between the University of Louisville Cardinals and the University of Michigan Wolverines brought in over 23 million viewers. Even with many people presumably switching to the live video stream instead, that’s a tasty 12 percent increase in viewers over last year. That’s the most viewers that the final game has drawn in 19 years, according to CBS.

Turner added that the NCAA March Madness Live app was the number one ranking sports app in both the App Store and Google Play during the event.

Although most people predicted that the top-ranked Cardinals would win the NCAA title, the Wolverines at least made them fight for it. In the first half, Spike Albrecht became an unexpected star, scoring 17 points and contributing to Michigan’s 38-37 halftime lead.

The Cardinals ultimately won 82-76.

In addition to the record-breaking financial numbers for CBS and Turner, there’s a rumor of another number associated with the March Madness final game — Kate Upton’s telephone number.

Taking advantage of his brief moment of celebrity, Albrecht tweeted Upton: “@kateupton hey saw you at the game last night, thanks for coming out! Hope to see you again.”

Upton may or may not reciprocate. And Michigan ultimately wasn’t the winner. But Turner and CBS Sports certainly won big as a result of the NCAA March Madness.

[Kate Upton photo by Anton Oparin /]