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March Madness: Best Ratings in 23 Years

The upset-riddled 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tournament has proven a boon for CBS and Turner, as Thursday and Friday’s games drew an estimated 8.5 million total viewers, up 5% over last year’s 8.1 million total viewers for the same timespan.

Viewers were likely drawn in by big upsets such as No. 14 seeded Mercer toppling No. 3 Duke, and little-known North Dakota State upending the Big 12’s Oklahoma. Sports pundits have noted for years that the so called mid-major basketball conferences have been catching up with power conferences – if so, CBS and Turner could be the beneficiaries as these kinds of upsets from lesser-known schools become more prominent.

More details on the numbers at Multichannel News.