NCAA(R) Division I Men's Basketball Championship
Entering this weekend's Final Four, CBS Sports' and Turners Sports' exclusive coverage of the 2012 NCAA(R) Division I Men's Basketball Championship is averaging a 5.7 U.S. household rating, making it the second highest tournament-to-date average since 2006.
With the quarter now over, TBS officially reigns as basic cable's #1 network in primetime among adults 18-34 (670,000) and adults 18-49 (1.2 million). TBS's primetime growth compared to Q1 2011 is extraordinary, with adults 18-34 up 28%, adults 18-49 up 33% and TBS's total audience up 32% to 2.2 million viewers. No other network in basic cable's Top 10 came anywhere near to delivering compatible growth.
Much of TBS's success this quarter was driven by the powerhouse performance of The Big Bang Theory. The show averaged 3 million viewers in Q1 2012, easily ranking it as basic cable's #1 sitcom for the quarter.
TBS's Emmy(R)-nominated late-night series CONAN has enjoyed a significant jump in ratings over last quarter. In Q1 2012, CONAN has averaged more than 1.1 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery (+25% compared to Q4 2011); 432,000 adults 18-34 (+12%); and 734,000 adults 18-49 (+19%). Last week, CONAN averaged 1 million viewers in Live + Same Day, with 366,000 adults 18-34 and 669,000 adults 18-49.
TBS closed out the quarter by winning the March ratings race as basic cable's #1 network with key adult demos. TBS added to its fortunes with success on the movie front, as the March 4 telecast of Shrek 2 ranked as basic cable's #1 movie for the month among adults 18-34. The animated comedy was also one of six TBS telecasts that ranked among basic cable's Top 10 movies for the month.
Among Adult Swim's original series in March, China IL (Sundays, 12 a.m.) earned double-digit delivery gains among adults 18-24 (263,000) which grew by 41% and men 18-24 (183,000) which grew by 83%.
Across all of March 2012, Adult Swim again ranked #1 on basic cable for Total Day Delivery of adults 18-34, 18-49 and 18-24, and men 18-34, 18-49 and 18-24. Compared to March 2011, adults 18-24 (291,000) by 7%.
Adult Swim programming in March accounted for 20 of the top 50 telecasts for the week on basic cable among adults 18-34 and 14 of the top 50 among men 18-34, both more than any other network.
Across March 2012, Cartoon Network stands as television's #1 network - broadcast and cable--for boys (2-11, 6-11, 9-14) in Early Evening Prime (7-9 p.m.). Versus March last year, prime delivery grew by strong double digits across the board: average kids 6-11 (665,000) grew by 29%, kids 2-11 (935,000) by 25% and kids 9-14 (516,000) by 29%. Average Total Day delivery saw double-digit increases across all kid demos, between 16% - 24% in March.
Monday nights (7-9 p.m.) ranked #1 among all boy demos, posting delivery gains across all kids and boys demos between 2% - 14% across March. Both Adventure Time (7:30 p.m.) and Regular Show (8 p.m.) ranked as the #1 show in their time periods among all kids (2-11, 6-11, 9-14) and boys (2-11, 6-11, 9-14).
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights (7-9 p.m.) also ranked #1 for boys 2-11, 6-11 & 9-14. Tuesday and Wednesday nights charted impressive double- and triple-digit delivery gains across the board - between 40% - 109% - and each boasted multiple shows (The Amazing World of Gumball, Level Up, Adventure Time, Johnny Test) that ranked as the #1 telecast in their time periods among boys.
One stand-out series, Ninjago (Wednesdays, 8 p.m.) ranked as the #1 program on Wednesdays overall among kids 6-11, kids 2-11 and all boy demos on broadcast and cable television, posting triple-digit delivery gains among all key demos between 123% -162%.
The premiere of the Cartoon Network original CG-animated movie, Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens (Friday, March 23, 7 - 8:30 p.m.) was the #1 telecast of the day with boys 6-11 and 9-14, while #1 in its time period with boys 2-11. Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens increased by double-digits across the board vs. the same time period year ago.
Cartoon Network's DC Nation (Saturday mornings from 10 - 11 a.m.) earned double- and triple-digit delivery gains in March across all kids and boys demos vs. 2011.
With the quarter now ended and two weeks of time-shifted viewing left to be counted, truTV remains on track to claim its biggest quarter ever in primetime delivery of two key demographics: adults 18-49 (615,000) and men 18-34 (159,000).
Demonstrating its growing strength against the competition, truTV is also poised to finish the quarter among basic cable's Top 10 entertainment networks in primetime delivery of men 18-49. The network also claims the youngest primetime median age (42) of its direct non-fiction competitors, including Discovery (44), A&E (46) and History (48).
truTV capped the quarter with an extraordinary performance last week, garnering double-digit growth in primetime across the board.
truTV's hit series Hardcore Pawn returned Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. to kick off the second half of its fifth season, and the results were truly golden. The Hardcore Pawn premiere drew an impressive 2.9 million viewers and more than 1.4 million adults 18-49. The episode topped the charts as ad-supported cable's #1 program in the timeslot with men 18-34 (386,000) and men 18-49 (844,000). Hardcore Pawn also ranked second in the timeslot in total audience delivery and third among adults 18-49.
Also scoring extremely well last week were new episodes of Lizard Lick Towing, which averaged more than 2 million viewers Monday night, as well as Wednesday night's Operation Repo (1.2 million viewers) and South Beach Tow (1.2 million viewers) and Thursday night's World's Dumbest (1.1 million viewers).
TNT has grown considerably from Q4 2011 to Q1 2012. The network has scored a Q1 average of 2 million viewers (+26% vs. Q4 2011); 887,000 adults 18-49 (+55%); and 892,000 adults 25-54 (+39%).
The harrowing season finale of TNT's acclaimed cop drama Southland delivered 2.4 million viewers in Live + 3 last week (1.7 million in Live + Same Day). The show also scored 1.1 million adults 18-49 and 1.2 million adults 25-54. With two weeks of Live + 7 data left to be counted, Southland is currently averaging more than 2.9 million viewers (L+7 through 3/6), with 1.3 million adults 18-49 (+4% vs. season 3) and 1.4 million adults 25-54 (+2%).
TNT's telecasts of The Mentalist are scoring big growth, with Q1 deliveries up 24% among total viewers, 14% among adults 18-49 and 15% with adults 25-54 compared to last quarter.
Through 31 games, TNT's NBA coverage continues to deliver double-digit gains vs. last year's corresponding coverage. The NBA on TNT is averaging a 1.7 U.S. household rating (+13% vs. 1.5 for last year's corresponding coverage); 2,594,000 viewers (+11% vs. 2,338,000) and 1,963,000 households (+12% vs. 1,760,000). The Top 5 NBA regular-season games on cable have all aired on TNT.
Source: Nielsen Media Research. Based on Live+SD. NBA Regular Season on TNT STD; 31 games vs. 26 games. (12/25/2011-3/19/2012) vs. (12/30/2010-3/22/2011)
Through 13 weeks of NBA TV's 2011-12 regular-season schedule, the network continues to experience significant increases compared to last season. NBA TV is averaging 350,000 total viewers (+36 %) and 275,000 households (+35%) through 70 games. Through 12 weeks of NBA TV's 2011-12 regular-season schedule, the network continues to experience significant increases compared to last season with three of this season's games among NBA TV's top five most-watched games ever. NBA TV is averaging 348,000 total viewers (+36 %) and 272,000 households (+36%) through 68 games.
NBA TV's Fan Night is also experiencing incredible increases compared to the same time last year. The Fan Night game featuring the Miami Heat vs. the Orlando Magic (March 13) was the No. 1 Fan Night game of the 2011-12 season among households, 367,000 (+20%) through 17 Fan Night games.