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Sunday spike: NCAA TV audiences increase for CBS, Turner

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/20/2017 By The Associated Press
South Carolina guard Kaela Davis (3) celebrates at the conclusion of a second-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament against Arizona State on Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina defeated Arizona State 71-68. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford) © The Associated Press South Carolina guard Kaela Davis (3) celebrates at the conclusion of a second-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament against Arizona State on Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina defeated Arizona State 71-68. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

CBS Sports and Turner Sports say viewership for the first Sunday of the NCAA Tournament, which was packed with close games and marquee teams, was up 34 percent over last year's Sunday second-round coverage.

Duke's Jayson Tatum (0) dunks against South Carolina during the first half in a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt) © The Associated Press Duke's Jayson Tatum (0) dunks against South Carolina during the first half in a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

The networks announced Monday that the eight games aired Sunday on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged 11.9 million viewers. Last year's Sunday second-round games drew 8.9 million viewers.

Sunday's games featured some of the college basketball's most notable power programs: Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, UCLA and Kansas. Six of the eight games played were decided by seven points or less, with South Carolina upsetting Duke in prime time.

Overall, viewership for the tournament is up 10 percent from last year at an average of 9.325 million over the first four days.

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