NCAA championship game most watched in 18 years

3:56 | College Basketball
Duke beats Wisconsin to win national championship
Tuesday April 7th, 2015

The NCAA Tournament championship game was the most viewed title game in 18 years, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

Monday night's contest, in which Duke defeated fellow No. 1 seed Wisconsin 68-63, drew 28.3 million total viewers, the most for any title game since Arizona defeated Kentucky in 1997. This year's championship bested last year's game between seven-seeded Connecticut and eight-seeded Kentucky by 33 percent, according to the NCAA.

Viewership peaked at 33.4 million between 11 and 11:15 p.m. Monday, in the minutes leading up to the final buzzer.

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The NCAA also announced that the 2015 NCAA Tournament was the most viewed in 22 years. Data from Nielsen Fast Nationals pegged average viewership for the tournament at 11.3 million viewers, up 10 percent from last year.

NCAA March Madness Live, a free digital streaming service on which fans can watch live games, broke viewership records with 80.7 million live video streams throughout the three-week tournament. It also generated a record 3.4 million live video streams during the title game Monday.

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- Alex Putterman


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