Final Four TV ratings highest since '05
HOUSTON -- So much for the unlikely Final Four pairing of Virginia Commonwealth and Butler hurting TV ratings.
Saturday night's Final Four broadcast on CBS posted an 8.9 rating and a 17 share. That's tied for the highest since 2005.
Butler's 70-62 win over Virginia Commonwealth in the first game drew an 8.3 rating and averaged 14.2 million viewers while Connecticut's 56-55 win over Kentucky in the second game drew a 9.5 rating and pulled in 16.7 million viewers.
Overall ratings for the NCAA tournament are up more than 9 percent over last spring. The 6.2/13 is the highest average rating for the tournament through the Final Four since a 6.6/14 in 2005.
This was the first season of the NCAA's 14-year, $10.8 billion contract with CBS and Turner, which meant every game was televised nationally for the first time.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Harvard snags 1st spot in NCAA tourney field
- Wichita St. routs Evansville, improves to 32-0
- McDermott among Wooden Award finalists
- South Carolina coach Martin sorry for outburst
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Under Armour Men's VCU Rams Basketball Black Armour Fleece Storm Performance Hoodie