CBS' Selection Sunday telecast received its lowest rating in approximately two decades, registering a 3.7 overnight mark.
Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily reported the news Monday. The network expanded its show to two hours long, which fans evidently didn't take to. Amid the deliberate reveal of the NCAA tournament field, the bracket was also leaked online.
Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch weighed in on how CBS handled the show and why the network should ultimately be fine moving forward:
CBS Sports does many things well. The execution of the Selection Show was not one of them. But the execs there are adults. They'll adjust.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) March 14, 2016
It appears unlikely CBS will stick with the two-hour format in light of the bracket's leaking out in the first year of the lengthened program.
Given the negative feedback and the key information's release before CBS was able to announce it, the risk figures to be high for something similar to happen next year if no changes are made to the selection show.
Enough backlash already arises from the decisions made by the selection committee. When CBS delayed in breaking the news and stretched out the broadcast to give its media personalities more time to break down the action, fans grew impatient, or so the low ratings suggest.
A return to a one-hour show would limit the danger of a leaked bracket and would be a savvy move by CBS to give March Madness enthusiasts what they want.