The numbers are in for the 2021 men’s Final Four ratings. This year’s event couldn’t overcome some of the viewership issues live sports have faced during the pandemic.
Saturday’s pair of games on CBS averaged 11.81 million viewers, down 14 percent from 2019 according to the Hollywood Reporter. The later game between Gonzaga and UCLA brought in 14.94 million viewers. That was off six percent from the same broadcast window two years ago. Baylor’s 78-59 stomping of Houston in the first semifinal dropped by 37 percent to 8.18 million viewers.
While the women’s tournament is receiving plenty of praise for posting some of its best ratings in decades, the story of the men’s tournament is more inline with what we have seen from live sports in 2020 and 2021. The audience dropoff was smaller when compared to other premier championship events like the World Series, NBA Finals, and NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals.