- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The NCAA tournament’s new television format drew more viewers to the first full day of March Madness.

Thursday’s games across four networks averaged 7.4 million viewers. That’s up 16 percent from last year, when games were only on CBS.

The NCAA’s 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with CBS and Turner means each game is televised nationally in its entirety on CBS, TNT, TBS or truTV. In the past, broadcasts on CBS were regionalized, and the network would switch among games.

Ratings were up big for the afternoon games, when most of the matchups went down to the final seconds. Ratings were up only slightly for the less-dramatic night games.

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