NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship Overnight Up 20%, Most-Streamed Women’s Basketball Finale Ever; Three-Game NCAA Women’s Final Four Overnight Up Double Digits

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NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship Overnight Up 20%, Most-Streamed Women’s Basketball Finale Ever; Three-Game NCAA Women’s Final Four Overnight Up Double Digits

  • NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship: Impressive 2.4 Overnight, Peaks at 3.3
  • NCAA Women’s Final Four: Total Streaming Audience Up More Than 100%; Sets New Streaming Record
  • Greenville, S.C. Sets New Local Rating Record

The 2017 NCAA Women’s National Championship between No. 2-seeded Mississippi State and No. 1-seeded South Carolina (April 2, 2017 at 6 p.m.) delivered a 2.4 overnight on ESPN, with a streaming average audience of 59,500 viewers and a total of 211,000 viewers watching 8,205,000 minutes. The overnight for the Gamecocks’ 67-55 victory is 20% higher than last year’s women’s national championship game and the highest rating for the championship game since 2014. The game easily becomes the most-streamed women’s basketball finale ever.

Battle for First-Ever National Championship Drives Rating, Streaming Audience
The 2.4 overnight, in addition to being up 20% from last year’s championship game (Syracuse vs. UConn on Tuesday, April 5), is also a 4% increase over the 2015 game (Notre Dame vs. UConn on Tuesday, April 6). While it is the most-streamed Women’s National Championship game ever, South Carolina’s first-ever women’s basketball national championship victory also had a significant higher streaming audience than last year’s game in all major metrics: Up 75% in average minute audience, 63% in total viewers and 83% in total minutes watched.

Entire NCAA Women’s Final Four: Overnights Mark a Three-Year High; Streaming Audience Soars
Combined with Friday night’s semifinals (7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on ESPN2), the three-game Women’s Final Four averaged a 1.8  overnight, also a three-year high for the event – up 13% and 6% from the 2016 and 2015 Women’s Final Four, respectively.  Per game, fans streamed more than 4.5 million minutes action, a new Women’s Final Four record and up 57% from last year. Additionally, an average of 175,000 total viewers streamed each game, up 106% from last year. The average minute audience per game was up 40%.

Additional National Championship Game Superlatives

  • Final Minutes Peak Ratings: The game peaked at a 3.3 overnight as the Gamecocks closed in on the victory (8 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. ET).
  • All Eyes on the Gamecocks: Greenville earned a 9.3 local market rating, the market’s highest rating ever for a NCAA Women’s College Basketball tournament game. The Top 10 markets:
Rank Market Rating
1 Greenville. S.C. 9.3
2 Hartford 7.0
3 Knoxville 6.1
4 Memphis 5.9
5 Louisville 5.3
Charlotte 5.3
7 Birmingham 4.9
8 Indianapolis 4.3
9 Nashville 3.9
10 Baltimore 3.7

Additional Women’s Final Four Superlatives:

  • Hartford Leads the Way: Hartford garnered the highest average rating for all three games of the Women’s Final Four with a 9.9. The top 5:
Rank Market Average Rating
1 Hartford 9.9
2 Greenville, S.C. 5.8
3 Greensboro 3.7
4 Louisville 3.2
5 Knoxville 3.0

*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.  


Media contacts:

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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