NCAA: Come March, Radio Adds To The Madness.


Once college basketball reaches bracket time in March, audio coverage from the first 32 matchups to the final four stands out compared to other media platforms, based on research presented in the latest Westwood One “Everyone's Listening” blog. According to a MARU/Matchbox study, among Westwood One's total audio audience, nearly three in four persons 18+ (72%) use AM/FM radio to follow the tournament, leading all other available media platforms except for streaming video, with which it's tied.


In addition, audio fans use an average of 6.3 platforms, so nearly all seven, to follow the tournament, compared to the total NCAA audience which uses an average of 3.4.


Overall, according to a Nielsen PPM analysis, Westwood One's season-long coverage of NCAA basketball – including 107 games plus pre- and post-game programming, available on AM/FM radio, SiriusXM, digital audio streams and smart speakers – reaches 33 million people, where total listeners grow incrementally every week, culminating with a 38% gain between weeks 14 and 17, from the first and second rounds to the championship game. “Throughout the regular season, the reach of Westwood One’s NCAA basketball broadcasts grows by ten times,” Westwood One VP of Research Scott Anekstein says.


Compared to the NCAA's other platforms, not only does audio reach over a third of the entire March Madness audience, delivery of persons 18-34 is second only to streaming video with six in ten tuning in, topping linear TV, social media and internet sites, according to a MARU/Matchbox study. The total NCAA audience uses 3.4 media platforms to follow the tournament, while that number jumps to 5.1 among 18-34s.


Even out of home, audio coverage of March Madness puts up impressive numbers, with six in ten persons 18+ (61%) listening, compared to 67% watching on linear TV and 73% on streaming video.

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