According to Monday night's television ratings, 28 percent fewer viewers gave a damn about this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Championship (which saw Villanova smoke Michigan) than 2017's title game (which saw North Carolina sneak past Gonzaga).
This year's contest was simultaneously aired on TBS, TNT, and truTV, and acquired 16.5 million viewers. Last year's game, grabbed 23 million viewers when it was broadcasted on CBS. Variety adds that the 2018 showdown also logged a 10.3 rating in "Nielsen metered market households," which gives it the unfortunate honor of being the lowest-rated men's college basketball national title game in the history of them keeping track.
As highlighted by Variety, these type of radical number shifts are not uncommon when broadcasts bounce back and forth between cable and network TV. In fact, ratings for the 2017 game were up 29 percent from the 17.8 million who watched on Turner networks in 2016. Going back another year, 2016's game was down 37 percent from the 2015 contest (which was, you guessed it, aired on CBS).
In spite of that news, Monday night's broadcast still crushed every other primetime program it was competing with. The Voice on NBC got 9.9 million viewers, Fox aired no fresh competition, and CBS only offered one new episode, which was a 9:30 ET airing of a new sitcom called Living Biblically. The closest thing on cable was Monday Night Raw, which averaged 3.4 million people tuning in per hour.