The ratings for this week’s Elite Eight games are in, and it’s not good news for the NCAA.

According to Sports Media Watch, two of the four Elite Eight games were the least-watched games in that round dating back to at least 2008.

It’s worth noting the NCAA Tournament had to use an unusual scheduling format this season. In past years, Elite Eight games would have taken place on Saturday and Sunday. But this season, they were played on a Sunday and Monday.


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Still, the viewership decreases were harsh. According to the report, ratings for Michigan-UCLA were down 57 percent compared to Duke-Michigan State in 2019. That’s despite the Wolverines and Bruins playing a highly-competitive game that came down to the final shot.

This season’s Gonzaga-USC and Houston-Oregon State games marked the first time since 2008 that an Elite Eight game received fewer than six million viewers. Those games were watched by 5.4 million and 5.9 million people, respectively, according to Sports Media Watch.

According to Sportico’s Anthony Crupi, the NCAA Tournament as a whole is down 12 percent so far — which seems like good news in light of the much steeper decline on Elite Eight viewership.

The Final Four is set to take place on Saturday with Baylor-Houston in the first game and Gonzaga-UCLA in the night cap. The National Championship game is on Monday, April 5.