Iowa-LSU Rematch Sets Women's Hoops TV Ratings Record

Last year’s NCAA women’s basketball championship set an all-time ratings record for a women’s game on ESPN. A rematch of that game — albeit two rounds earlier in the tournament — on Monday night drew an even bigger crowd.

Iowa’s 94-87 victory over LSU averaged 12.3 million viewers for ESPN, the largest TV audience ever for a women’s basketball game in the United States. The previous record was set more than 40 years ago, when CBS’ broadcast of the 1983 title game — featuring USC legend Cheryl Miller — drew 11.83 million people.

LSU’s 102-85 victory in last year’s title game was the previous ESPN record, drawing 9.9 million viewers.

Iowa, whose Caitlin Clark became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer (women’s and men’s) earlier in the season, has been drawing huge viewership throughout the tournament; its four games thus far have averaged about 6.83 million viewers. LSU has also been a strong draw, averaging 4.73 million viewers for its tournament run.

Monday’s game had the second biggest audience for any game in the men’s and women’s tournament thus far, behind only the 15.14 million viewers for the North Carolina State men’s upset of Duke on CBS Sunday afternoon.

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