On Sunday, ESPN aired a top-three women’s college basketball matchup between South Carolina and LSU. The Gamecocks’ 88-64 win averaged 1.466 million viewers, making it the most-watched regular season women’s college basketball game since 2010.
Sunday's top-3 matchup between @LSUwbkb & @GamecockWBB averaged 1.5 million viewers
? Audience peak 1.6 million
? Most-viewed regular season #NCAAWBB matchup on any network since 2010 pic.twitter.com/eb76dlp78s
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) February 14, 2023
It was the third most-watched college basketball game of the weekend, behind ESPN’s Saturday doubleheader of Duke-Virginia (1.745 million) and Indiana-Michigan (1.682 million).
Interestingly enough, another women’s game hit a multi-year high the previous Sunday. Fox aired a top-five matchup between South Carolina and UConn, and the Gamecocks’ four-point win averaged 1.087 million viewers. A week ago, it was the most-watched regular season women’s college basketball game since 2017.
.@GamecockWBB remained undefeated with a victory over @UConnWBB Sunday on FOX.
The matchup posted 1,087,000 viewers – the most-watched women’s college hoops game ever on FOX.
Also ranks as the most-watched regular season women’s college hoops game on any network since 2017. pic.twitter.com/PNfplDgyr1
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) February 7, 2023
That game still holds the crown for Fox’s most-watched women’s game ever.
Seeing viewership highlights like this, it makes all the sense in the world for the NCAA to unbundle its various championship events and sell them separately. The women’s basketball tournament alone would bring in significantly more money than the bundle is in its current deal, and that could lead to a much better overall tournament (and even more interest) going forward.
[Data via ShowBuzz Daily]