Louisville's Final Four victories in Atlanta drew higher television ratings than this year's NBA finals and BCS bowls, as well as last year's World Series.
Compared to other sports, the NBA Finals trailed the three-game NCAA Tournament Final Four (11.0, 18.3M*), but finished comfortably ahead of the five-game Bowl Championship Series (8.8, 15.1M). The NBA Finals also easily outdrew last year's World Series (7.6, 12.7M).
Among adults 18-49, the NBA Finals averaged a 7.1 rating - matching both last year and 2011 as the third-best for the NBA Finals since ABC acquired the rights. Only 2004 (7.9) and 2010 (7.3) did better. The series also averaged a 7.2 among adults 18-34 and a 7.4 among adults 25-54.
Overall, the 2013 NCAA Tournament was the most-watched big dance in 19 years, according to Nielsen. The tournament averaged 10.7 million total viewers, up 11% from last year's 9.6 million viewers, and had the highest average for the NCAA Tournament in 19 years (11.2 million; 1994).
The National Championship game on April 8 earned an average fast national household rating/share of 14.0/22, up 14% from last year's 12.3/19 (Kentucky-Kansas). The National Championship game averaged 23.4 million viewers, up 12% from last year's 20.9 million.
Not bad for a "sport that's on life support."