NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Final Breaks Viewership Figures
The NCAA women’s basketball tournament final between eventual champions LSU Tigers and runners-up Iowa Hawkeyes has broken a 20-year record as 9.9 million people tuned in to ESPN to watch the final showdown.
The LSU Tigers won 102-85 over the Iowa Hawkeyes for Louisiana’s first-ever basketball title in college history.
Viewership figures for Friday’s NCAA final broke the previous record for a women’s basketball final, which occurred in 2002 when 5.7 million people watched WNBA legend Sue Bird star as Connecticut beat Oklahoma.
The most-viewed women’s college basketball ever reached a peak audience of 12.6 million viewers according to ESPN, double of the peak viewership of last year’s final and having it broadcasted on ESPN+ allowed it to become the most watched college sporting event on the platform.
The 2023 final held in the American Airlines Centre in Dallas featured Iowa’s Caitlin Clark who drew considerable interest from the wider public for her performances, finishing with an impressive 41 point game in the Regional Finals.
Iowa Hawkeyes’ player, Monika Czinano, said she was happy with the success of the NCAA final.
“This is the game we love and seeing it get the recognition it deserves is obviously super rewarding. It’s about time women’s basketball gets this kind of viewership, and it can only go up.
It’s only going to get more exciting and more fun. The game is evolving in such a great way. I’m glad you’re tuning in now, but keep it up,” said Czinano.