Feb 12, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks forward Aliyah Boston (4) shoots over LSU Lady Tigers forward LaDazhia Williams (0) in the first half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.