- NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship Game Up 29%, Nets a Three-Year High
- Mississippi State vs. UConn: Most-Watched Women’s Basketball Semifinal Game in Four Years; Double-Digit Increases Over Huskies’ Three Previous Semifinals
- NCAA Women’s Tournament Reaches Three-Year Audience High
The 2017 NCAA Women’s National Championship between Mississippi State and South Carolina (April 2, 2017 at 6 p.m. on ESPN) averaged a total live audience (TV + Streaming) of 3,886,000 viewers, a three-year high for the women’s basketball national championship game, which includes a 29% increase from last year’s finale. (Syracuse vs. UConn on Tuesday, April 5).
ESPN’s TV-only audience (3,827,000 viewers) for South Carolina’s 67-55 victory peaked at 5,338,000 viewers as the Gamecocks were closing in on their first women’s basketball national championship (8 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.). As announced yesterday, the game was the most-streamed women’s basketball finale ever, with a streaming average audience of 59,500 viewers and a total of 211,000 viewers watching 8,205,000 minutes.
Mississippi State’s Historic Victory Over UConn Draws Multi-Year Audience High
In the second NCAA Women’s Final Four Semifinals, Mississippi State vs. UConn (March 31 at 10 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 2,783,000 viewers, the most-watched women’s basketball semifinal game since 2013 (seven games) which includes three UConn semifinals (2016, ’15 and ’14) as part of the Huskies’ four-year national championship run. This year’s UConn semifinal audience was up 19%, 15%, and 20% from the 2016, ’15 and ’14 Huskies semifinal audiences, respectively.
ESPN2’s TV-only audience (2,763,000 viewers) peaked at 3,976,000 people when the Bulldogs and Huskies were in overtime (midnight – 12:15 a.m.) and Mississippi State’s Morgan William hit the game-winning shot.
Women’s Final Four up 18%; Set Streaming Record
Accounting for the semifinals and national championship game, the entire three-game NCAA Women’s Final Four averaged a total live audience of 2,754,000 viewers per game, the most-watched Women’s Final Four since 2014 and up 18% from last year. As previously documented, this year’s event also set a new streaming record. The first semifinal between Stanford vs. South Carolina (March 31 at 7:30 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 1,518,000 viewers.
Entire NCAA Women’s Championship Sees Audience Growth; Earns Three-Year High
ESPN’s exclusive presentation of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One (63 games) averaged a total live audience of 744,000 viewers per game across ESPN’s networks, also a three-year high and up 6% from last year.
*This year marks the first year since 2002 that the Women’s Final Four Semifinals were played on Friday (7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and the Championship game on Sunday (6 p.m. on ESPN). Previously, both semifinals were played on Sunday (6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.) and the Championship on Tuesday (8 p.m.). Last season, the first semifinal aired on ESPN and second on ESPN2. In prior years, both semifinals aired on ESPN. The Championship game has aired on ESPN since 2002.