The Villanova Wildcats celebrate after defeating Michigan for the national championship Monday night in San Antonio.
Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Leadoff: College basketball title game hits record low in TV ratings

Villanova’s lopsided victory over Michigan posted a 10.3 TV rating across the nation’s metered markets Monday night -- the lowest on record for college basketball’s men’s national championship game, according to Sports Business Daily. 

The previous lowest rating for the college basketball title game was 11.2 for Connecticut’s win over Georgia Tech in 2004. 

Still, the Villanova-Michigan game’s overnight rating – a combined figure on TBS, TNT and truTV – was the best for any program on cable or broadcast TV Monday night.

Villanova’s 17-point margin of victory, which matched the largest in the championship game since 1992, depressed viewership.

The title game, on cable for just the second time, drew an average of 17.9 million viewers from 10-10:15 p.m., but dropped to 15.7 million by the telecast’s final quarter-hour. For the full game, the telecast averaged 16.5 million viewers. 

Villanova’s previous national championship, a last-second win over North Carolina in 2016, delivered a 12.0 rating, also on TBS/TNT/truTV. 

(And if you’re wondering for comparison sake, Alabama’s victory over Georgia in college football’s national championship game in January drew a 16.7 rating across the metered markets.) 

RELATED: Villanova winning again was nice, but what comes next might not be, Mark Bradley writes. Read his column here.

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