ESPN Viewership Clears the Bases During 2024 Division I NCAA Softball Season

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ESPN Viewership Clears the Bases During 2024 Division I NCAA Softball Season

  • Most-Watched NCAA WCWS Finals on Record with 2 Million Average Viewers
  • Regular Season, Regionals, Super Regionals and WCWS All Finished up Year-Over-Year

The 2024 NCAA Division I Softball season was one for the record books, as the sport saw continued growth across ESPN platforms from the first pitch to the final dogpile.

The NCAA Women’s College World Series Finals between Texas and Oklahoma drew 2 million viewers, delivering the most-watched WCWS Finals on record. The audience was up 24% from 2023 and a 3% increase from the previous all-time high in 2015 (Florida/Michigan).

2024 saw an increase in female viewership, with 44% of the audience of the WCWS Finals comprised of women, up from 40% in 2023.

Game 1 of the WCWS Finals scored 1.9 million viewers, the most-watched Game 1 on record for the Championship Series. Game 2 followed with another outstanding performance, garnering 2 million viewers, up 9% from the previous season. The game was also the second-best Game 2 on record, behind only 2021.

Game 2 and Game 1 also rank as the second and third most-viewed softball games on ESPN+ all-time, respectively.

Overall, the WCWS was up 2% from 2023, averaging 1.1 million viewers across 15 games on ESPN platforms. This marks the most-watched WCWS since 2021 and sixth-best audience all-time. Five games leading up to the championship series eclipsed the million-viewer mark, led by UCLA/Oklahoma on ABC with 1.3 million viewers.

#RoadtoWCWS Viewership Success

  • Super Regionals
    • The 2024 Super Regionals averaged 519,000 viewers, up 3% year-over-year and the most-watched Super Regionals round since 2021
    • Game 2 of Tennessee-Alabama averaged 1.1 million viewers on ESPN, the most-watched Regional or Super Regional softball game on record for ESPN platforms
    • Texas/Texas A&M (776,000 viewers) and LSU/Stanford (771,000 viewers) delivered the two best Regional/Super Regionals audiences for ESPN2 on record
  • Regionals
    • The 2024 Regionals averaged 258,000 viewers, up 6% from 2023
    • The Regional Final between Florida State and Auburn on ESPN2 drew 566,000 viewers, ESPN platforms’ best regional audience since 2019
    • On Day 2 of the Regionals, Kentucky/Oklahoma State averaged 551,000 viewers and Oregon/Oklahoma drew 522,000 viewers on ESPN

Championship Performances for Big 12 and SEC:
Conference title games for the Big 12 and SEC led the way on Championship Saturday across ESPN platforms:

  • The Big 12 Championship (Texas-Oklahoma) drew 563,000 viewers on ESPN2, the best Big 12 Championship game on record on ESPN platforms
  • The SEC Championship game (Florida-Missouri) kept the momentum, with 470,000 viewers tuning in on ESPN

Regular Season:

  • ESPN platforms’ most-watched regular season since 2015 averaged 190,000 viewers
  • Viewership was up 13% from 2023, including large gains in the P18-34 demo (+35%) and among females, up 18% year-over-year
  • The Alabama/Auburn all-SEC matchup on ESPN raked in 570,000 viewers, the most-viewed regular season game on ESPN platforms since 2022
  • ESPN+ engagement also finished up 32% year-over-year for the 2024 softball regular season
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