National Semifinals Up on WatchESPN
The NCAA Women’s Final Four National Final between top-seeded UConn and No. 2 seed Oregon State – played Sunday, April 3, from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis – delivered a 1.7 overnight rating on ESPN, up 31 percent from last year’s first semifinal tilt between South Carolina and Notre Dame (1.3). The game is also up 6 percent over UConn’s 2015 semifinal game (1.6), the second of the ESPN doubleheader.
On WatchESPN, UConn vs. Oregon State experienced a 70 percent increase in average minute audience, 32 percent increase in total unique viewers and 59 percent increase in total minutes viewed compared to the first semifinal game in 2015 (South Carolina vs. Notre Dame). The game experienced a 45 percent increase in average minute audience, 38 percent increase in total unique viewers and 59 percent increase in total minutes viewed compared to UConn’s semifinal game last year.
Combined, the two Women’s Final Four National Semifinal games experienced 34 percent increase in average minute audience, 14 percent increase in total unique viewers and 30 percent increase in total minutes viewed compared to last year’s semifinal games.
Full Day of Programming
The day was coupled with Major League Baseball Opening Day, including a 2.1 overnight rating for the New York Mets-Kansas City Royals World Series rematch on ESPN. It matched the best Opening Night game since 2010.
The two National Semifinal games – which also included No. 4 seed Syracuse against No. 10 seed Washington on ESPN2 – earned a combined 1.4 overnight rating, comparable to ESPN’s doubleheader in 2014. The second semifinal delivered a 1.0 rating.
On a market-by-market basis for the UConn-Oregon State game on ESPN, Hartford delivered the highest-rated market at 19.2, followed by Portland (7.0), Seattle (4.4) and Knoxville (3.0). The top metered markets for Syracuse-Washington on ESPN2 were led by Seattle (8.7), Hartford (5.8), Knoxville (2.2) and Portland (2.0).
National Championship Game
The Women’s Final Four culminates with the pairing of UConn vs. Syracuse in the NCAA Women’s National Championship game on Tuesday, April 5, at 8:30 p.m. The game will be called by Beth Mowins and Doris Burke on ESPN and WatchESPN.
Pregame coverage begins with an hour-long preview special, hosted by Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo, as well as Coaches Corner segments from Andy Landers and Stephanie White, from inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ESPNU will air a 90-minute special at 5:30 p.m., hosted by Matt Schick with analysts Julianne Viani and Brooke Weisbrod from ESPNU studios in Charlotte.