Women’s Basketball Rivalry Shatters Ratings Records: NCAA History Made


In an electrifying display of sportsmanship, the NCAA women’s basketball championship between South Carolina and Iowa captivated a staggering audience, sending ratings soaring to unprecedented heights. ABC’s coverage of the Sunday showdown drew in an astonishing 18.7 million viewers, with a peak of 24 million during the game’s most intense moments.

Extraordinary Numbers, Remarkable Impact

Compared to the previous year’s championship, viewership surged by an impressive 89%, marking a year-on-year surge of 285%. These remarkable numbers further bolster the growing popularity of women’s basketball and highlight the intense interest in this year’s exceptional game.

“It was the most-watched sporting event outside of American football and the Olympics since 2019,” ESPN reported, underlining the momentous significance of this championship.

A Collision of Titans

The allure of this championship match lay not only in the rivalry between two formidable teams but also in the captivating storylines surrounding star players. Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks, led by their undefeated record and determination to secure a second championship in three seasons, faced off against Caitlin Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes, who aimed to end her collegiate career with a national triumph.

Clark’s Stellar Influence

Clark, known for her record-breaking scoring prowess, has played an instrumental role in captivating fans and cultivating excitement for women’s basketball. Her remarkable performance in this game, which saw her score 30 points, has garnered her widespread recognition.

“I want to personally thank Caitlin Clark for lifting up our sport,” said Staley, acknowledging Clark’s profound impact. “She carried a heavy load and will undoubtedly continue to elevate the WNBA.”

Iowa’s Record-Breaking Streak

Iowa’s presence in this championship marked their third consecutive game with record-breaking ratings. Their nail-biting victory against UConn held the previous record for the most-watched women’s college basketball game with 14.2 million viewers.

Unleashing the Potential

The outstanding performance of both teams and the engaging storylines surrounding them fueled this record-breaking viewership, demonstrating the enormous potential and captivating nature of women’s basketball. This championship has ignited a renewed passion for the sport and serves as a milestone in its growing prominence.

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