April 7, 2010
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Tuesday night’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship game on ESPN, in which Connecticut defeated Stanford 53-47, was seen by an average of 3,531,000 viewers (P2+), up 32 percent from 2009 (2,668,000 for UConn defeating Louisville). The game garnered a 2.7 rating, a 29 percent increase over last year’s 2.1, according to Nielsen Media Research, and household impressions also rose 29 percent, from 2,055,000 to 2,694,000.
Playing at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Connecticut won its 78th straight game, a record for the sport. The team defended its national title with a second consecutive undefeated season, the seventh championship in school history. Stanford is 56-3 since the middle of last season; all three losses are to UConn, including twice at the Final Four.
Other highlights of the 2010 NCAA Women’s Tournament on ESPN:
- The Final Four enjoyed an increase of viewership of 22 percent, from an average of 2,585,000 viewers (P2+) to 3,164,000. The rating rose 20 percent, from 2.0 to 2.4; household impressions rose 20%, from 1,951,000 homes to 2,335,000.
- The national semifinals Sunday, April 4, combined for an average of 2,988,000 viewers (P2+), up 18% from 2,541,000 a year ago, based on a 2.2 rating, up 16 percent from a 1.9 vs. 2009. Household impressions rose 15% to 2,181,000 from 1,895,000 in 2009.
- ESPN averaged 1,629,000 viewers (P2+) for 12 games, up nine percent (vs. 1,488,000), based on a rating of 1.3, an eight percent increase from 1.2 in 2009. The increase in household impressions was six percent, from 1,175,000 to 1,248,000.
This year was ESPN’s eighth straight year of televising all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship and the 15th year overall of exclusive coverage. During the first two rounds, ESPN and ESPN2 presented 48 games within 12 telecast windows in a whip-around format with home market protection. ESPN FULL COURT – ESPN’s out-of-market pay-per-view package – and ESPN3.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, offered complete game telecasts of all 48 games. In addition, ESPNU provided full national telecasts of six early-round games, and for the first time, ESPN Mobile TV provided live coverage of the Women’s Final Four.