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Friday, June 21, 2024

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark Has Become Must-See TV

  • ESPN telecast of Iowa’s 97-83 victory over Louisville on Sunday averaged 2.5 million viewers. That’s more than any NBA telecast on ESPN this season.
  • Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes take on Aliyah Boston and the South Carolina Gamecocks Friday night in a game that could set ratings records.
Caitlin Clark
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Caitlin Clark has become one of the biggest TV attractions of March Madness.

Iowa’s sharp-shooting point guard is attracting millions of new viewers to the NCAA women’s basketball championship.

ESPN telecast of Iowa’s 97-83 victory over Louisville on Sunday averaged 2.5 million viewers. That’s more than any NBA telecast on ESPN this season, tweeted The Athletic. The game’s TV audience peaked at 2.7 million viewers, according to ESPN.

During the game, Clark became the first player in NCAA tournament history to post a 40-point triple-double, finishing with 41 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds.

TV viewers couldn’t get enough of Clark. 

ESPN’s viewership rose 94% from last year’s comparable Texas-Stanford game. According to Sports Media Watch, it marked the largest audience ever for a women’s tournament game outside of the Final Four. 

The network’s Elite Eight coverage averaged 2.2 million viewers over four games, up 43% from last year.

With Iowa heading to the Women’s Final Four, Clark is being hailed as one of the best basketball players in the world.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has called her the “Steph Curry of women’s basketball.”

On ESPN’s “First Take,” he hailed her as a “lethal sniper” with unlimited shooting range.

“I love watching her. She’s one of the greatest attractions in college basketball. She can pull up from the parking lot. We like that.”

Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes take on Aliyah Boston and the South Carolina Gamecocks Friday night on ESPN (9 p.m. ET) in a game that could set ratings records.

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