• Loading stock data...
Sunday, April 21, 2024
  • -
    days
  • -
    hours
  • -
    minutes
  • -
    seconds

Caitlin Clark Pulls Most-Watched Women’s Semifinal

Caitlin Clark
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The heroics of sharp-shooting Hawkeye Caitlin Clark drew monster TV numbers for ESPN’s telecast of Iowa vs. South Carolina on Friday night.

Iowa’s 77-73 win over defending national champion South Carolina averaged 5.5 million viewers, up 72% from last year’s comparable NCAA women’s basketball Final Four game.

That made it the most-watched women’s semifinal ever – easily blowing past the 3.76 million viewers for the Baylor vs. Stanford Final Four matchup in 2012.

The Hawkeyes vs. Gamecocks peaked at 6.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals.

Friday night’s semifinal even topped last year’s women’s national championship game between South Carolina and Connecticut, which averaged 4.85 million viewers.

Caitlyn Clark's popularity could mean massive TV ratings.

Caitlin Clark’s Final Four Debut Could Smash TV Records

Caitlin Clark’s first Final Four could generate record TV viewership.
March 31, 2023

With Clark pouring in 41 points against the Gamecocks, ESPN came close to topping the two most-watched women’s college basketball games ever.  

Those were both national championship games, not semifinals, featuring Diana Taurasi and the legendary UConn dynasty.

Taurasi, Sue Bird, and Swin Cash drew 5.7 million viewers for their win over Oklahoma in 2002. 

Two years later, Taurasi’s Huskies nearly topped their record, drawing 5.6 million viewers for their win over Tennessee in the women’s final. Iowa vs South Carolina pulled nearly one million more viewers than the NBA All-Star game’s 4.6 million average viewers.

ESPN’s earlier telecast of LSU’s win over Virginia Tech also drew a big number. The telecast averaged 3.4 million viewers, up 57%, and was ESPN’s most-watched early semifinal on record.

ESPN’s twin telecast of Iowa-South Carolina and LSU-Virginia Tech Rank as the two most-watched women’s college basketball games ever on ESPN+.

Anticipation is building for ABC’s Sunday afternoon telecast of the women’s national championship game between Iowa and LSU, pitting Clark vs. Tigers star Angel Reese. The game will have broader distribution on ESPN’s sister Disney broadcast network ABC (3:30 pm ET).

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Rockies Coach’s Team Plane Cockpit Visit Triggers Federal Investigation

A since-deleted video shows him sitting in the cockpit mid-flight.

NBA Media Rights Likely Headed for Open Market Next Week

The league is reportedly letting Monday’s deadline pass without a deal.
Caitlin Clark

Fever’s Still Running: Tickets, Jerseys, and the Caitlin Clark Economy

Unprecedented ticket and merchandise demand for the WNBA rookie continues.

DOJ to Pay $100 Million to Gymnasts Over FBI Failures

The reported settlement brings victim payouts to nearly $1 billion.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Why Ian Rapoport Lives for the NFL Draft’s Chaos

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

A Bare-Knuckle Fighter Won His Pro Debut. The Far Right Scored a Marketing Win

With Proud Boys sponsoring him, experts say extremist groups will use his success to elevate their ideologies and recruit new believers.
April 7, 2024

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Adidas
Multiple - USA Careers
FanDuel
Multiple - USA Careers

No Subscription Totals? Netflix’s Decision Could Impact Sports Plans

The streaming giant says a focus on subscriber totals doesn’t reflect the full state of the company.
April 17, 2024

The Questions Are Mounting for ‘Spulu’ As Lawmakers Demand Answers

A pair of high-powered Congressmen are demanding answers about the forthcoming service.
April 18, 2024

Diamond Sports Group Is About to Survive Bankruptcy. Will It Matter?

The bankrupt company faces key questions relating to both programming and distribution.
Sponsored

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 16, 2024

Chicago’s Sports Media About to Experience a Major Shake-Up

Three Chicago pro teams’ media rights could shift to Stadium as soon as this fall.
April 16, 2024

Caitlin Clark Drives Massive WNBA Draft Audience for ESPN

Clark’s coronation was the most-watched WNBA telecast in decades.
April 16, 2024

The Yankees’ Radio Voice Retires, Ending an Era of Longevity

The longtime Yankees radio announcer was an industry outlier in many respects.
April 15, 2024

Star-Studded NBA Play-In a Potential Ratings Boon for ESPN and TNT

The initial portion of the NBA postseason features three former MVPs.